Saturday, November 21, 2015

Timing is Everything, Woof!

This post was written a few days after we put Goldie to sleep ... in AUGUST! However, I am putting it on the cyber books to make it official Family History.
August 2015:
 I arrived home from work and there was an envelope tucked into our door. My first thought was that someone knew we were sad and left us a card. But, no. It was a leter from Animal Service with a handwritten note on the front. ""This is a 'heads up' letter from an official barking complaint made to our department. Any questions, contack me ....blah, blah, blah." Feeling drained from our sick dog, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the irony of it all. To receive a Nuisance Animal Barking complaint the day we put Goldie to sleep? Ha! Bad life-timing.
But wait, it gets better. 
Loving our one-one-and-only
Two days after we put Goldie to sleep, we received a card from the "new vet" that was helping us with her sudden paralysis (our usual vet was booked). My first thought was they sent us a condolence card. How sweet ... Perhaps it was part of their "service" like the clay paw print they made of Goldie right after she passed.
Inside the card was handwritten "We'd like to welcome you and Goldie to the clinic! Goldie is so cute and sweet!"  It went on to say how they look forwad to helping us and our pet share a healthy and happly life together.
C'mon, for Pete's Sake -  Pay attention Vet people!!
Sara is now our "beach weemie" and this was a very windy day.
 She looks like the Flying Nun! Remember that show with Sally Fields?
 This  last week without Goldie around we have been extra loving to her sister Sara. As Goldie was the social, barky, loving one, Sara was lost in the background of hunting through the yard and ignoring us like a housecat. Now she is the only one left and it is like getting to know a whole new dog. Like I would have with Goldie, I took Sara out with us when I could. Those two couldn't have been more differnt; just like human sisters! She seemed to like the trip to the beach and is enjoying the extra treats, but is still moping and not eating like usual.  The depressed-dog "solution" better not be another dog, because that's "no bueno". I read it can take dogs weeks to get through the depression and sadness of losing a litter mate. We will wait and see ...

Weiner Sister Update:
November - Three months with only Sara
Sara is in the shape of her life! She lost a couple pounds in her grieving, and she had it to lose.  We had named her "Fatty" when her sister was alive. Mean, right? She is a dog, and didn't know she was overweight. For the record, I would never call my kid or friend that. However, now Stealth Sara is in the pit of health. She comes to work with me a couple days a week and I walk her daily.  She is my new BFF! These have been positive changes, and, it appears, we'll survive as a one-dog-family.
So, there ya go!
 We have an old-new dog, Sara, who is turning NINE (that's 63 in dog years) on November 25 ... Please pass the pupcakes :)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Goodbye Goldie

Sadly, we had to put Goldie to sleep.
 It was an emotionally draining week.
 We are empty. 
Teckie and I cancelled our weekend in Santa Barbara (to celebrate his birthday) and stay home. Our hearts are tenderly fragile right now. Sara, Goldie's sister, is mopey and not herself. Those two have been together, playing and sleeping on each other everyday for nearly nine years. 
Sisters Forever
Those last days with Goldie, knowing she had to leave us - were tough,  but a blessing just the same. We didn't waste a minute of loving her. During the day we took her outside and sat together under a shady tree; letting her soak up the yard she loved to play in. She would try to run but her paralyzed behind wouldn't budge. Poor thing. We let her have all the treats she wanted and even some Chinese Orange Chicken that she devoured. Goldie's last night she slept in between Daniel and I in our guest bedroom. Lucas and Sara were next to us on the floor. 
We brought Sara with us to the vet when we let Goldie go. Teckie held her. She knew what was going on. It was a heart wrenching day; but a relief knowing she is out of pain and running around with healed legs in doggie heaven.

Goldie would have been nine on November 25, 2015
We brought Goldie home in a box that Lucas painted brown with a big red heart on the top. She was wrapped in blankets with her sweet-little-face showing; white-aged muzzle and all. Daniel and Teckie dug a nice deep hole and we buried her in the backyard. Sara sat from a distance and watched. When the final shovel and rake were finished; Sara slowly walked up to her sister's grave and sat right on top of it. 
Grieving together is easier than doing it alone. 
This is a mournful family time and it feels like there are no tears left. Now, only  memories of the most love-able, lick-y and dearest dachshund will live on. She will be forever missed by this family she blessed every day with kisses and that joy-filled-wagging-back half.

Rest In Peace Sweet Goldie

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Prayers for Goldie

On Monday Goldie joined Edna and I for coffee and some errands. Edna adores dogs, as I mentioned before, and I am guilty as well ... particularly with The Wiener Sisters. At ten weeks old we bought the tiny dachshunds and they will be nine in November! 
Edna and Goldie; Ready to conquer the day!
Anyways... where was I?
Later Monday afternoon, after a normal-dog-day for Goldie, she started to limp. She could walk, but something was clearly wrong with her dragging back leg and her hind end swayed like a drunk. We took her to the vet who diagnosed spine problems, which are VERY common in dachshunds. She was given steroids and put on muscle relaxers and was to keep still to heal. This was impossible for hyper Goldie but we did our best to crate her (whining) or hold her. Normal life stopped.
It all started Monday
Tuesday things got pretty bad. We returned to the vet  and she confirmed that Goldie's condition was worse. She couldn't walk and was almost completely paralyzed on one side. She asked if back surgery was an option. No.
 The vet gave us sedatives to keep calm and chill for a couple weeks. We were to crate her and only take her out to use the bathroom every few hours.
Yesterday outside; she can't walk at all
Sweet Goldie has been on a downward spiral toward paralysis. As of today, she can't walk at all and yesterday she lost control of her bowl and bladder, which you can imagine is sad and messy. Teckie ran and bought diapers to help control things. It's like having an infant all over again. As you can imagine we are all devastated, especially Daniel, as this was "his dog" and best friend since he was six.
This is depressing :(
We  are returning to the vet this afternoon and from what I read online the prognosis is not a good one. It's crushing to watch our peppy-licky-loving family mascot morph into a sick-crippled-dog in three days. We don't like where this is heading. Please pass the Kleenex. 
Prayers for Goldie please.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Revival Ride, Bowling and Burrito-Cats in Space

The last 24 hours included a revival, bowling and burrito-cats in space.
 Wait, please.
 Let me "splain" (remember Cuban Ricky Ricardo?). 
This term will click if you were ever hooked on I Love Lucy reruns. 
I'll "splain" this crazy post's title.

Yesterday I took Blanche out for what used to be a smooth-sailing-four-mile-ride. It went more like this. Hop on and commit to staying on Blanche for the first mile ... no matter what, DO NOT hop off. It has been so long since I have taken a long unicycle ride. I thought I was going to pass out after that first squirrely-sweaty mile. Next, I rewarded my sore legs with walking Blanche, like I would my dog. However, I was the one panting; tongue flopped out.  This went on and off for the next two miles. Off and on. Off when I couldn't take it anymore, walk Blanche for a while, then repeat. I arrived where the fourth and final mile starts. HERE is where I made the mistake of challenging myself to NOT hop off the final mile home. Couldn't do it. As a matter of fact, I now can't walk without being reminded how out of tune these legs are.  I have many miles to go before I claim to be "unicycle fit." How did I EVER conquer half-marathons? And to think I almost brought along my selfie stick to take some fun-frolicking photos while on my revival ride. 

Not happening this week ....  
Our Official Mascot with Overboard and Me
What IS happening?
 Our summer bowling league. 
Maybe it's the Hospice Supper Club that's opened my heart to love older peeps, especially my own. Like my Overboard Mom to be exact! Last May, I was spurned on to join this weekly summer bowling league with my kick-butt-strike-loving-mamma. I lassoed my friend Janet into our team of three. We are the "Newbees" and this is because Janet and I are brand-spanking new to what I fondly call the Grandma League. It's like being part of a senior-citizen-sorority, filled with playful-sage-gals  (But without secret handshakes, kegs or crazy blind dates). Oh, if I had a dollar for every "pointer" they've shared with me, I'd purchase my own bowling shoes. 

Today my new employer "Edna" came along. 
BTW, The Newbees are not in LAST place... just ranked seventh out of eight teams. Slowly, we are making our strategic move to the top. Edna can only bring us good luck. Her best pointer was "just throw it down the middle." 

Lastly, Daniel and I attempted school shopping today.  Along the way I found this treasure.  Four-year-old nephew Benson LOVES bean burritos and LOVES cats, so I hit the jackpot! Cats are wrapped in tacos and burritos floating through space. I can only imagine this designer's state-O-mind when he created this wacky masterpiece. Benson will think it's out-of-this-world-awesome!  Plus, I grin out loud every time I see this ridiculous tank top! 

Hopefully the jabber brings clarity to this once-in-a-lifetime blog title. 
Until next time, Peace and Keep the Balance.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


That's where you will find me; at the crossroads of life. 
Between being a parent and employee I have spent fourteen years at a private Christian school.  That's a Chunk O' Time!! When Daniel graduated from there last spring, my parent ties were severed.
"What do I want to be when I grow up?"
That's the question I kept asking myself, but came up blank. So, I decided to stay in fourth grade for many reasons. As a Mom, nothing can beat the school work schedule ... two weeks off at Christmas, free summers, off early, and I worked with amazing people I loved!
My friend Melanie, who is one of four caretakers of an 90 year-old-woman,  asked if I could help as one of the "Gal Pals" (that's what her caretakers are called) hurt her back. Sure! It was three days a week from 9-2, and it paid great (especially compared to my other job).  The old lady is delightful, spry and spunky. She doesn't want to stay at home, so the time is  spent making her breakfast, having coffee together at Starbucks every morning,  then running her errands, and mine too! She wants to be out and about, which I like.  Yesterday she came to my house to watch the Dog Whisperer (she loves dogs and Caesar Milan) while I folded our laundry and prepped dinner! Tomorrow she is joining me at the bowling alley, as Overboard and I are in a summer league (and having a ball - no pun intended).
You know where this is going ...
The injured "Gal Pal" can't return to work, so they asked me if I was interested ...Um, YES! It is a better fit for my entire family right now.
I know what you are thinking. She is 90! No spring chicken, I understand. She is OLD and "What if?" Well, I have thought that too, but feel like my shoes are tied and I am ready to take this leap of faith. It could lead to ... God only knows. Apparently, He has a plan with my best interests at heart and I'm trusting that. So here I go, riding my unicycle down a new path at the crossroads of life.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happy 6th Blogoversary

Driving home from Arizona yesterday, I was irked trying to remember "what was special about this upcoming week of July." 
Am I missing someone's birthday? 
Dental appointment?
 Do I owe money? 
Something was pinging around in a cobwebbed crevice of my memory about this particular week. 
Clarity was mine when I recalled that July 27th is Unicycle Rose's 6th Blogoversary. Despite my shoddy record of posting, a celebratory entry is in order!
Since recalling this momentous date, my mind has the Tasmanian Devil of thoughts whirling around, tossing about what to focus on. Possible topic/headlines include (but not limited to):
Old pals enjoying the Diamond in the  Desert Resort in Peoria, AZ
-The girls getaway weekend in Arizona I just returned from?
-That I am not going back to my job in fourth grade? I quit :)
-And on that note, I have a NEW job that God dropped in my lap when I wasn't looking?
-My precious niece Eva who we are all madly in love with?
Our Dollie
-That Lucas was voted by the managers "Employee of the Month" at In and Out Burger?
-My parents are preparing to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary?
-Miss Piggy turned 49 over the weekend, but I missed her party (sad face).
-I have a painful crown in the back of my mouth and I hate this toothache and my new dentist?
-My latest collection of "Things That Make Me Laugh?"
Do you grasp the "topical storm" in my head  hauling debris of details from each possible headline story? 
I'm overwhelmed.
I have decided to share THE BEST and MOST IMPORTANT point of what's been happening here. 
Drum roll please ...

My family is healthy and together
 In the end, that is ALL that matters.
 The rest is just fun pink-fluff that keeps life interesting.  
So, On this 6th Blogoversary of Unicycle Rose I wish to make a toast.
 Please raise your glass:

 "Horray! To another year of 'Keeping the Balance' on and off my unicycle, staying focused on what really matters in life, and praise to God for being gracious and patient with broken-old-unicycle-riding me!" 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Makes Me Laugh, Part 2

Back to my collection of "Things That Make Me Laugh."
Folks may describe what follows as creepy, disturbing or just plain wrong, and on some level I agree (vaguely). However, I find it strangely hilarious, and so do my kids, which might an indicator of my juvenile sense of humor.  A girlfriend (with kids) turned me on to the free app called Face Juggler that flips faces.  Daniel and I have peed our pants laughing while juggling faces around. Here are some of my favorites:
Dad and Me ... doesn't he look like Willie Nelson?
MOM and DAD ... Willie Nelson again
Teckie and me ... we make a horrible looking lady!
Lucas and Daniel
Lucas and Overboard
Whether you snickered, winced, cringed or giggled at these pictures, it won't alter the great time I had with my kids creating them!
 Oh, and it's so easy to do. 
Try it and tickle (or gross out) your peeps in a silly creative way!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Smooth Jazz on the Beach

Hello Reader! I wrote this post four months ago. It has patiently crouched in my computer, not making a peep, like other neglected posts. Alas, I will put it center stage because it was a day I want to remember for many heartfelt reasons. 
Read for yourself:
Its February and my can is parked in the sand while Daniel tries to catch a wave in Ventura. Today, I decided to listen to different music instead of my "usual."  Who knows why, but ya, smooth jazz seemed interesting. At first "listen" it felt like I was on a cruise ship. With jazz in my ears, I looked up and far out at the Pacific Ocean before me. I remembered cruising in the Caribbean and hearing smooth jazz during dinner and at happy hour on the Lido deck. This smooth jazz sounds different and corny, well, smoooooth-ERRR. I like it.
Smooth jazz in my ears, my mind traveled to last weekend which was out of the ordinary. Months ago my sister, Miss Piggy, asked Lucas and me to speak at her church retreat at Our Lady Of Sorrows in Santa Barbara. The theme was "Hope and Healing" and  my knee jerk reaction was to say "no gracias." But after much  prayer, I was brought back to that time of Lucas's miraculous healing and my transformation through his first two years of life.  I realized that sharing this testimony is the LEAST I could do after ALL God has done for us. So, I put my big girl panties on and started to brainstorm how to use up 45 minutes telling our story.  Admittedly, reflecting back to 1997 did stir up a lot of "stuff" inside and that coupled with Lucas' upcoming graduation from high school a healthy emotional melt down was triggered.. 

Saturday, February 21st, was THE day and we were prepared to share.  I pulled it all together best I could, slide show included.  It was refreshing to recall the changes in me after that painful year of two open-heart surgeries on our baby son. After that year, we made a lot of big life changes based on our experiences with Lucas.

 For example, we moved to a smaller house, I quit my job, I stated attending Community Bible Study and listening to Christian music (which I used to think was dorky when I was in my twenties). I could go on how God rewired my priorities and heart, but you get the idea. Our talk went fabulous and sent a strong message of "Hope and Healing" to our audience. At least that is what Miss Piggy said, I really can't remember much.
As if THAT was not enough for one day, Lucas and his band, Attack the Shark,  was playing a gig at a small venue in town. He and two friends donned ti-dyed  morph suits and performed songs they wrote with the help of drums, electric guitar, tambourine and baritone horn. Oh, to be young and look great in a morph suit! It was a goofy entertaining night and I realized that Lucas got the best of Teckie and me. 
It felt right to share our God story and it felt like pure joy to listen to my kids live music that night. Very special day.
Back on the beach, still lounging in the sand, I am soaking in the smooth jazz floating into my ears while daydreaming about a Caribbean cruise and the Lido deck.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Makes Me Laugh, Part 1

Sharing my "Things That Make Me Laugh" files is overwhelming.
 There are too many to choose from and I understand that a sense of humor varies from one person to the next. 
I will break this up into a couple posts so you can really bathe in smiles. 

These top two are my favorites and still make me chuckle.
 The next are more like word puns. 
I had to THINK when I first read them ... it's a "pun challenge."
I  appreciate the creative mind this next one was fished out of.

These two were just plain cute and silly!

This last one is sad, but true.
 Most are mesmerized by their phone and miss out on "life" around them.
 I am guilty! That is why it's funny.
It hits home and frees me to dance without inhibition.
shake your groove thing, shake your groove thing, yeah, yeah!
No body cares or notices :)
Enjoy this gorgeous Saturday of Summer 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Grad Days and Morro Bay

Can we ignore that I haven't posted in months and pickup where I left off?
Good :)
Teckie and I returned Wednesday from Morro Bay. The quaint beach community is  located on California's central coast and known for it's 23 million-year-old volcanic plug (huge rock) that is parked on the beach. Our lazy getaway felt like a reward for keeping up my energy and adrenaline the first two weeks of June.
Extra spunk was necessary, as there was alot "shaking down" at our house.

 Daniel graduated on June 2nd, and we hosted a family dinner and after the graduation, had his class of 33 students over for a party. 
Dinner before graduation, Daniel requested my enchiladas, OLE!
 The highlight was "decorating" the principal's house with toilet paper at midnight. What an awesome class he was part of!
In this big transition, he has left "the bubble" of a small private Christian school that he's been floating through since pre-school. As sad as it was to see his class sprout in all different directions, I know he is ready for his next big step at Newbury Park High School.
 Very exciting stuff.
Check out the dollar bill lei I learned how to make. It was a very time consuming craft,
folding money back and forth like an accordion and sewing all pieces together,
 but Daniel LOVED it!
But wait.
 Morro Bay... I veered off course on how we landed at the old massive rock. 

 Soooo, Daniel graduated on a Tuesday and the following Monday my mother-in-law (MIL), sister-in-law (SIL) and brother-in-law (BIL) arrived from Arizona for Lucas's graduation.
 It was wonderful having them with us for the week and they were troopers to attend the Westlake High School graduation in intense afternoon heat. It was a well done ceremony and worth every drip of sweat down my back and under-wire bra.  
Grandma Fish and Overboard
That was on Thursday and on Saturday we hosted a celebration with friends and family to acknowledge his accomplishment. Lucas was miffed on what a "big deal" we all  made of high school graduation.
 I explained that almost half of California kids don't graduate from high school. I pointed out he worked hard, that he never gave up, screwed up, became a father or went to rehab. He kept on the straight and narrow (from what I know) and is a GREAT kid who excelled in high school and we are so proud of him. 
After that explanation he understood why all the hoopala around him. It's a huge (think bigger than the Morro Bay rock!) step toward his independence and bright future. We gave him his grad gift early and he loved his new banjo. He is still in the "making music scene" and wants to incorporate the banjo. It is such a cool-pickin-hee-haw sound!
So, on Saturday, the grad party we anticipated for months arrived. It  can only be described as a spectacular night. My SIL, who is an excellent cook, whipped up a ton of chicken enchiladas, made a vat of beans and a yummy Mexican salad for fifty hungry loved ones. She is amazing that way!
My SIL, Queen of the Kitchen :)
 I ordered carnitas, rice and salsa from our favorite Mexican place, Overboard assemble beautiful flower arrangements and led us in a game of Body Bingo ( I can explain what Body Bingo is in another post as you should know!). 
Our five Body Bingo Winners won a gift card to In and Out. That's where Lucas is working
and spends most of his time these days, so it seemed appropriate!
 The night was packed with joy, blessings and so many special people. My  MIL and SIL ran the kitchen during the party. They cleaned everything up and proved the point that "many hands make light work."  
We could not have handled all the details of  borrowed tables, chairs, linens, amazingly creative invitations by Uncle Lui (Visit to check out his work) without the help! 
Thank God that Families Are Forever
Then our Arizona peeps packed it up and headed back to the 105 degree desert heat. We sent them off with left over floral arrangements. It was an exhausting, joy-filled and emotional two weeks. I felt blessed, sad and glad it was over ... and THIS is what brings you, the reader, to Morro Bay.
Teckie and I escaped for a much needed reconnect-relax-rejuvenating retreat. We laughed a lot, listened to live music, ate too much yummy food, explored and I bought a bag of my favorite salt water taffy!
  Why yes, sugar remains a weak link for me. I wish it wasn't. 

 With two graduations in our dust, my summer calendar is now clear until work starts back up mid-August. The most anticipated parts of my Summer 2015 have passed and now it's time to hit the gym, sit on the beach and cart Daniel to water polo practice. Maybe I will tinker on the new banjo? Who knows? 

Truth be told, I haven't unicycled since I brought Blanche into fourth grade the week school ended. The kids LOVED it!  Blanche still fascinates adults and kids, as it is a unique bike that never ceases to bring out interest and big smiles. Afterward, the fourth graders had so many questions and most of the boys wanted to try riding it right there in the school parking lot! 
Um, no go!

In the big life picture I have struggled to keep centered and balanced whether on or off my single wheelie. There's ALOT going on in my head and heart these days. 
Sidenote: Growing up my parents told me "You think too much!"  and said I was "over-emotional"  so perhaps not much has changed.  I still think too much ... I believe that is called OCD?
 LOL :)

Baby Eva - I can't get enough of this one!
I would love to blog more as I definitely have the extra time, stories and topics to share. Plus, my collection of "things that make me laugh" has only grown the last few months!  Perhaps I will share it all here?
 I love that thought, but for now, I am writing from Hollywood  where I'm babysitting my beautiful precious niece. So, the story stops here.
Peace and keep the Balance!