Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Our Book Has Been Published - Finally!

The gadget on the right is a 19 page sample of our book, A Year of Hope.  If you're reading my blog, then you are most likely aware that my friend Sandra Forbes and I have been working on this for a long time.  We are very proud of the result and the profits from the book are all going to the CCSVI Alliance and to the BNAC CCSVI Research Project.  Sandra and I will not profit from this work - we did it to honor and show respect to the CCSVI pioneers - patients and doctors - who took a leap of faith in the hope of alleviating suffering.

I hope you'll buy a copy and support this cause.  It was created with love and joy and I think it will make you smile... and who couldn't use a smile these days?  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bubbas Big Adventure

This morning started out just fine.  Woke up early, glanced at the clock and went back to sleep.  Bubba was out like a light and didn't stir.  At 6:30 am I decided to get up and once I was out of bed, Bubba was in the kitchen right behind me, as usual.  I got his leash on him and headed out the door for our first walk of the day.  He got on board the scooter which is his new trick (I couldn't have taught him that if I tried) and we rode downstairs.

Bubba was fine, walked alongside the scooter and did all his business so we headed back to the house.  The condo powers-that-be decided at that moment to turn on the sprinklers full blast and the sudden shower frightened Bubba for a minute, but he recovered quickly when he spied the ducks.

Now Bubba is a terrier so it's his nature to chase anything that moves.  He goes after squirrels, cats, and especially the ugly Muscovy ducks that inhabit Hollybrook.  Some people love them and some hate them.  I'm in the second category.  They poop everywhere and we are forever cleaning up after them.  A few neighbors throw bread out for them which we are not supposed to do and of course, this attracts them to our building.

Behind the building is a lake which is surrounded by a golf course with steep hills and deep valleys.  The lake is a natural lake and is about a foot lower than the grass, due to the golf course built around it.

So Bubba spied the ducks and took off like a bat out of hell.  He always chases them but today for some reason the leash didn't halt him and he was able to slip out of it.  And now the fun begins.  Here's the scene:  me on my scooter, yelling Bubba! Come!  Bubba!  No!  Bubba!  Sit!  all to no avail.  The ducks scattering and finally flying off and landing in the safety of the lake.   Bubba barking at the top of his lungs, running around the edge of the lake, below the grass where I can't get to him.  My scooter goes on grass but grass and hills together - not so much.  It kept cutting off and I had to stop, remove the key, press the circuit breaker, and try again.  So I had to worry about the scooter, as well as Bubba, and the condo commandos complaining about all the barking at 7:00 AM.

I thought I'd just stay there with eyes on him until he got tired of this game or the ducks flew away - but to my shock Bubba jumped in the lake!  The muddy, dirty, lake!  I had no idea if he could swim or not so my heart was in my mouth but he paddled about half way out, barking all the while, until he turned around and scrambled on the shore.  My little white dog was now black.  I was so glad he was out of the water but then, he tried again - plop - there he was back in the lake.  In and out - this went on for about half and hour.  Why wasn't anyone coming out to see what all the barking was about?  Why didn't anyone call security?  Where are the condo commandos when you need them?  Why are these damn ducks even here?  Muscovy ducks are bred for food - just look at this link:

Click here to order some yummy duck meat!

Finally, finally, a man comes out of his back door and waves at me... really?  Waving?   OK, he was old but anyone could see I was freaking out.  I scooted over to him and asked if he could call security to help me.  He went in the house and came back with his grandson who was about 12 or 13 and spoke English (I later found out the man spoke Spanish and I would have asked him in Spanish had I known that, but as I said, I was freaking out).  The grandson, bless him, took my leash and walked down to the lake shore and tried to get the leash around Bubba's head.  But the darn dog was slippery from being wet and muddy and now the kid was getting dirty too!  He finally got it done and dragged Bubba up the rise and handed me the leash.  The poor kid had to go change clothes to get to school!  I thanked them profusely and then got the hell out of Dodge before Bubba could start chasing the ducks again.

When I got to my front door, a new problem presented itself.  How to get him in the house and into the bathroom shower without destroying my beige carpet or my clothes.  I decided the clothes could be washed so I picked Bubba up and we quickly, (well as quickly as I walk), went into the bathroom and I threw him in the shower.  Then I disrobed and joined him. Bubba likes to get bathed or showered so that's lucky for me.  We got nice and clean which took a while, and then I dried him off best I could and kept him in the bathroom while I got dressed and proceeded to gather up the towels and dirty clothes for the laundry.

It was quite a morning - and Bubba had no idea what he'd put me through.  He came out of the bathroom happy as a clam, tail wagging, and calmly went to eat his breakfast.  I was exhausted and collapsed on the couch.  Just another day in paradise!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day and such

For those of us who no longer have their Mom's with us, Mother's Day can be difficult.  There's not a day goes by when I don't think about my Mom, Sylvia Wulkan, who was truly my best friend and always my champion.  She was there for me in times of joy and troubles; even when she disagreed or disapproved of my decisions, our love and respect for each other never got lost in the mix.  She was a unique individual with a huge loving heart and is missed by many.

I have many photos of her but none are digital, and I need to work on that so I can add her beautiful face to this post - but for those family and friends who knew my Mom, I know she is not forgotten. 

I hope everyone reading this takes a moment to remember their Mom - and appreciate the love and care we receive from our mothers.  They shape us and make us who we are, more than we realize and whether we like it or not!

So, my son just called to wish me happy Mother's Day and my newest 'child' Bubba, is sleeping at my feet.  He is such a good dog (most of the time) and I'm so glad to have him at this point in my life.  

Here's a sketch I made yesterday - not great but it does really look like him!  (I need to work on the mouth a bit more).  Of course, he didn't "sit" for this portrait.  I did it from the photograph shown in my previous post.   It looks grainy here but in person it's crisp and clean.

I was really surprised that I could capture his face but I'm happy with the result, considering I've only been drawing for a month.
Here's another sketch I started in class and finished at home.  It's going to be put in a show at the Senior Center.  The horse and my pastel Rooster were requested for the show - pretty amazing!  Who knew??

Off to meet a friend for coffee and desert - our Mother's Day treat to ourselves.   Enjoy your day too!