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Lucky me!

Friday, November 21, 2014

And today I am grateful for:

1. Dental insurance which will cover a part of the implant I am getting.
2. Granddaughters who never cease to bring a smile to my face.
3. Blue skies and sunshine (NO snow today!!!)

Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARA-SMILE 11/22/2014 7:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SQUIRLY13 11/21/2014 9:56PM

    Hurray for the good things!
Life is good!

(Not looking forward to the forecasted rain, though.)

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COMPCHIC52 11/21/2014 5:29PM


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3 more things

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Today I am grateful for

A car that gets me through this snow.
A son who shoveled my driveway.
Hot soup!

What are you grateful for today?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPCHIC52 11/21/2014 6:26AM

    today that I have my husband and children with me. that there is no great need because its already taken care of. TY Lord

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SARA-SMILE 11/21/2014 5:40AM

    My boys.
Another day to do better.
A warm home on this 28 degrees morning.

I love your list! Stay warm! emoticon

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ERIN_POSCH 11/20/2014 4:27PM

    a DH that snuggles
a DH that gets me when my work day is over
a DH that take wonderful care of my granchildren when I'm not available.

I'm also thankful that they are all the same man =)

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NHES220 11/20/2014 11:45AM

    My healh
My family
A warm place to live!

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CAROL494 11/20/2014 11:18AM


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3 things

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I am grateful for today...

1. That the snowfall here has been manageable for me! (Shoveling is a good form of exercise!)

2. That I have a warm house during these cold days and nights.

3. Hugs from those who are there during this time of sadness.

Life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARA-SMILE 11/21/2014 5:41AM

    Yes, life is good! emoticon

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COMPCHIC52 11/19/2014 7:27PM


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I swear, usually I am a pretty upbeat, positive person but life has been throwing me a few challenges lately.

My computer is in the shop - it was supposed to be there a week - it is still there - week 2 plus a couple days. Ugh!

Yesterday morning I was running a bit late. I let the dog out one last time before I left. When I went to let him in, I didn't quite have him in the house with the door closed before I detached his tie out line. He quickly pushed past me and bolted out the door.

Ollie loves to chase squirrels and birds. He is a hunter by nature. He quickly jumped over my 4 foot fence into the neighbors yard chasing the birds at the bird feeder. I ran in the house and put on my boots and started scouring the neighborhood for him. I called and called. No Ollie. I got in the car and started driving around and spotted him running towards my neighbor's house from the opposite direction. I opened the car door and tried to entice him in but he took off running full speed.

I live near two very busy roads and was afraid he would run in the direction of one of them. I parked the car and followed him on foot. I also called my son-in-law who was able to come over and join me in the Ollie chase. He ran a couple blocks over and started following the creek. He followed it to a very busy street and then decided to go in the creek - which was a little deeper than I think he thought! He quickly turned and squeezed out between the fence blocking the creek from the sidewalk. From there he hopped the guardrail running full speed and into the road - right into the path of an oncoming truck. I heard the bang of the truck hitting Ollie. The truck was traveling about 45 miles per hour. Ollie was laying in the road with other traffic coming. I quickly started to make my way out to the road to get him as he got up and dragged himself to the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street. The driver of the truck never stopped.

Alex ran to get his Suburban while I comforted Ollie. He was wet and shivering, covered with snow, breathing quite hard. We scooped him up and put him in the back of the truck and made our way to the emergency vets.

They assessed him quickly, indicating they would give him oxygen and fluids. The vet returned indicating he had no feeling in his paws and was concerned about nerve damage. He was in shock. She went back to start taking xrays and returned to tell me that Ollie took a turn for the worse and was going to need to be euthanized. I told her I wanted to be with him. She said ok - but when we returned to the room where Ollie was, he had already passed away.

I was so sad. Ollie was only in our lives a few weeks. He had a rough go of it and came to us from the shelter 15 pounds underweight, infested with fleas and a bad ear infection. He had a strong prey drive. My biggest fear was him getting out of my yard. It is fenced with a 4 foot fence, but he could clear that fence like nothing! So we tied him out in the fenced yard and made sure the porch door was closed before taking him off the tie. This time I was lax. Just one second too soon! I feel awful. I feel guilty that he got away. I had the invisible fence people lined up to install an invisible fence inside my fence line - but I think he probably would have jumped right through that too.

I couldn't help but marvel watching Ollie run free through the woods. He ran like the wind. He was having the time of his life. This is the only thing I can find comfort in right now. I feel like an awful dog owner - neglectful - yet I think I did everything I could to keep him contained and it was just an accident.

Just that morning I was petting him and telling him how soft he was, how good mannered he was, that he was special he was and that we all loved him very much. But our love for Ollie was no match for his instinct to run.

I didn't think it would end this soon. I didn't think it would end this way. I thought we would grow older together. I thought we would share many long walks in the woods and become great companions.

My house and heart are so empty. I am trying to focus on the gratitude - but it is difficult. I hope that Ollie is somewhere running freely, chasing birds and squirrels all day long! I miss his soft face, his Ollie kisses, playing tug with his squirrel toy, and his wagging tail greeting me at the door - but am grateful that I was blessed to have this experience if only for a few short weeks.

To top it off, it has been snowing an inch an hour here - we have 12 inches on the ground and more falling. Did a lot of shoveling this morning to get out of the driveway to work. Heavy snow! There will be more to do when I return home tonight.

Hoping shoveling snow is therapeutic! It sure beats sitting in an empty house!

So it has been a rough few days. Life is throwing some punches. However, I am still here! Hopefully my computer will return in a couple days and I will be back in touch regularly.

OK exhale Barb, Breath in, slowly, deeply, exhale. You got this girl! You are not alone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATELJM 11/19/2014 9:19PM

    Barb, I'm sorry to hear about Ollie. You did what you could. Sometimes dogs slip through the smallest openings. At least Ollie had a few good weeks with you, being treated with love. I was glad to see such a nice photo of him; he was quite handsome. Wishing you peace.

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MARCIAC10 11/19/2014 6:26PM

    So sorry, But think of what a good life you gave him in the short time you had him!! Life is uncertain and you did the best you could!

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JULIEXOXO 11/19/2014 1:33PM

    Barb I am so sorry to hear about Ollie.

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NETGYRL 11/19/2014 12:38PM

    Oh man. I am so sorry about Ollie. He had a great few weeks with you, but too short. I think some dogs are more dog-dogs then people-dogs. Ollie sounds like he was a bit of a wanderer and as you said he was having the time of his life running free for a bit. It's hard, but you are right, you can handle it and you are not alone. You are in my thoughts. /hugs

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SARA-SMILE 11/19/2014 6:03AM

    I'm so sorry about Ollie. emoticon You gave him a loving home, even though it was for a short time. emoticon

Comment edited on: 11/19/2014 6:07:02 AM

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SQUIRLY13 11/18/2014 7:22PM

    I am so sorry for your heartbreak. It's SOOOOO hard. At least Ollie had a wonderful few weeks with you.... he had lots of love. Nothing can take away the pain, but it will ease, in time. Shoveling is a good distraction. Just came in from doing it, myself. My heart goes out to you.....

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NHES220 11/18/2014 4:34PM

    Oh Barb, I am so sorry to hear about Ollie. What a difficult time for you! You did everything you could for him. You gave him a safe place and loved him! You were putting in an invisible fence, but I think your fear is correct, his instinct to run and chase would have been to strong for it to hold him. You probably would have needed an 8 foot fence to keep him in. Please take solace in the fact that for the time he was with you, he knew no greater love. He is running free now and out of pain.

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Veterans Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I remember as a small girl, walking downtown and standing on the curb with my dad. There was a parade coming! I had visions of balloons, marching bands, baton twirlers, floats and people throwing out candy - like the Santa Clause Parade. Usually the parades in my town were held on a Saturday morning - however this parade was at night. It was windy, cold and dark.

My dad and I stood on the curb, looking up the street in anticipation. Look! There were the police cars with their lights brightly flashing marking the beginning of the parade! Ahhh, the childlike anticipation was building....

There was a car filled with people wearing uniforms, waving at the crowd. Some of the men were saluting.

Following the car was the Army Band... there were no baton twirlers. They played on.

Then there were platoons of men and women wearing uniforms marching, some of those people seemed real old to me. There were lots of them. There was a float with some people on it with this small little cannon that fired and made a huge bang. There were many American Flags.

The weather started turning colder and rain began to fall. Many people started leaving. I tugged at my dad's sleeve and asked if we could leave. It was cold and I was getting wet. My dad said no, we would be staying until the end. The parade seemed to go on forever. It seemed boring compared to the Santa Clause parade. I didn't understand why may dad wanted to stay.

After the parade we walked up to Veterans Park. They laid some wreaths against the columns with people's names carved into them. There was one put into the water of the reflecting pool. Someone gave a short speech and we left to go to our car.

I told my dad I didn't like that parade. It was boring and they didn't have fun things like baton twirlers and candy. It was cold and rainy and I was uncomfortable.

My dad then began to explain to me the purpose of the parade. He told me that many of those men and women had fought in wars in other countries so that our country could remain free. He told me how they fought in the cold and snow, the humid heat and rain, how their feet froze in their boots or their socks were falling apart from being so wet and hot all the time. He said they were our heroes, that we salute them out of respect, that they put their lives on the line for us, for our beliefs and our freedom. He said a little discomfort on our part was nothing compared to what many of them had been through.

My dad fought in WWII. He didn't speak of the war. He had this medal called the Purple Heart. He kept it in its case, tucked in the corner of his top dresser drawer. It was puffy and purple and in the shape of a heart. It looked really cool. In the same case he kept some metal things that looked like screws that were a few inches long. He had other cases with medals and bars of various stripes. I never knew what they were for. I imagined they were for courage - like the lion in the Wizard of Oz, because in my eyes my dad was a hero and a very brave man. I loved sneaking in there and looking at the medals.

It wasn't until I was older that I understood that my dad won a Purple Heart when he was shot in battle in France. It wasn't until I was older that I could even begin to imagine the terror of lying on a battle field in December, wounded, unable to walk, wondering if you would ever see your home or loved ones again. The battle raged on for hours before someone was able to get to my dad. They patched him up as best they could and shipped him off to an army hospital. From there he caught a ride on the QEW across the Atlantic! He went to Gardiner Army Hospital in Chicago. They implanted screws in his shattered bones to aid healing. My mom made the trip to Chicago via train to visit him when she was able. I'm sure it was a lonely, frightening time for a young man. Eventually he was sent back to Michigan and returned to his daily life. There were no parades or fanfares.

He never talked of the war. He never talked of the battle he was shot in. He never talked of his army buddies. He never answered my questions when I asked him if he ever shot someone, or if any of his buddies were killed. He never marched in a parade. He never talked about any of it, but I'm sure he carried it in his heart everywhere he went.

Every year my dad and I would go stand on the curb, sun, rain, snow or cold, and watch the veterans as they passed. Every year we each shed a silent tear and felt extremely blessed.

This American would like to take a brief moment and say THANK YOU!

My dad has been gone for 30 years now. I haven't stood on that curb downtown to watch the parade in years. Perhaps this year is a good time to bring my granddaughters, and pass on to them some of what my dad shared with me.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZMANNIE 11/15/2014 9:34PM

    Nicely written blog. My father was in WWII also,as an airplane mechanic in England. He never saw action like your father, but didn't like to remember or talk about that time, either. What wonderful memories you have of being with your Dad!

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KATELJM 11/11/2014 8:27PM

    You captured the meaning of Veterans Day perfectly. It's not about the glitz, it is about honoring those who put their lives on the line to protect us.

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LYNNIERN 11/11/2014 6:40PM

    Oh my gosh, thank you for sharing this and thanks to your Dad for serving our country.

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WALLAHALLA 11/11/2014 3:57PM

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your memories with us.

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    This is such a wonderful tribute to your father. I know that he is looking down on you today with tears in his eyes and so very proud of you. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Hugs Pat emoticon

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NHES220 11/11/2014 1:16PM

    What a wonderful tribute to your Dad and all the veterans. This one brought a tear to my eye. I cannot imagine what it was like. My Dad did not serve in WW2, he came to this country from Ireland after the war and enlisted in the Army and served for about 2 1/2 years - but he can tell you the exact number of years/months/days he served. My FIL did serve and he was shot as well. He never talks about it either. But I know the memories are there.

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