Devine site

A little bit about my day, my family, and my knitting.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Not An Easy Decision

Today we took our three dogs to the groomer...Tiemann (maltese) for a haircut, Rusty (dacshund) for a bath, and Cocktail (shepard/chow) to get his nails clipped. Cocktail is a little over 16 years old...way older than most dogs his breeds generally live. We never expected to have him this long. He has been Gerry's dog since Suzzette (Gerry's daughter) brought him home in her hands, as a puppy. He and I formed an instant bond when we met 6 years ago. And while I heard that Cocktail was quite the rabble rouser in his prime, over the past few years he has truly mellowed. for the past 6 months or so Gerry and I have watched Cocktail lose weight and slow down, but not as much as in the past two months. We had him to the vet about 2 weeks ago. Cocktail's kidneys are slowly failing, he lacks iron, and he has lost so much that his body is like a dog that may have been in a concentration camp. What saves his look is his beautiful face and soft, orange mane.

Day by day Cocktail does less and less, and now he rarely gets off of the quilt that we keep on the living room floor for him. When he needs to go out he gives out a low growl and then we have to help him out as he slides on our wooden floors. On the way to the groomer today he sat in the back of our Ford Explorer...he NEVER sits in the car. I got into the back with him at first in case he stumbled when the car stopped, but once he sat down he was doing fairly well. (Oh, well, on his way to sit down he DID have a nasty oops, but luckily we were near a gas station that had paper towels by he pumps!) Once we got to the groomer Gerry had to lift him out of the car and it took poor Cocktail a full five minutes to walk from the car to the store. Once inside...yup, he sat! The technician trimmed his nails and pads and then we took him home. But....we made a decision on the way there - a very hard decision but a mutual one. On Friday, the 6th, Cocktail will make his last trip to the vet. This is one of the hardest things we have ever had to do. We love him so much...and that is why we made this decision. It just isn't fair to hang on while he gets weaker and weaker, thinner and thinner - that's no quality of life for this wonderful dog. So I called Suzzette, who will go with us, as he was originally her dog. I called Alison, too...ya know how a child calls mom in times of need? Luckily, my kids are there for me, too, and she listened and cried along with me. I know that on Friday I will be a wreck....but Gerry will be even worse. Oh....I am not looking forward to it at all!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Whatta Day!

Today was quite a day. We invited a few people in to watch the Yankee/Red Sox double header
plus the Michigan/Notre Dame football game. My son Adam came over in the late afternoon with a friend. He brought me the most beautiful flowers
and lots of goodies from Doris's, and Italian grocery/bakery here in S. Florida.For those of you who are unfamiliar with Italian "goodies," (Alison and Becca, I know you know what these are), the red/white/green are Rainbow cookies - usually marzipan, but these have raspberry preserves inbetween the layers, topped off with dark chocolate (when we lived in the Bronx, NY, Dad always made sure to bring home a pound of these, as the kids would KILL for one or more); the cookie with the pine nuts are...pinolis; the "tubes" with the cream inside are cannoli; and the big shell-like pastry is called (I'm sure my spelling isn't good) sphilladell (don't ask me what that translates to). It's a somewhat flakey but firm outer with cream in the center; and in the top left hand corner you can see a bit of the peach coffee cake. One thing my son knows (and my daughters, too) is how to buy and set up pastries. I bought shrimp and stuff for BBQ, Adam did the cooking, and we had a fun time. My stepdaughter Suzzette and later her hubby Brian came over, as did Melinda and John, our friends. I could not believe how well Adam hit it off with Suzzette and Brian. They spent some time together outside while (YUCK) smoking (no matter how hard I try, I just can't get any of them to stop that nasty habit). By the end of the night, Adam and friends left to go to Suzzette and Brian's apartment. My mouth is STILL open in shock, but I truly am happy that they liked each other. Gerry was a doll, too....before Adam left, he gave Adam a big book of Yankee statistics. Glad they are accepting of one another.

So in spite of Notre Dame losing to Michigan, and the Yanks/Red Sox winning one game apiece of the double header, it really was fun.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Showers of Happiness

This past weekend was Alison's baby shower at her home in Marietta, GA. It was given by her best friend Ilene, who lives in Central Florida, and Alison's sister Becca, also in C. Florida. They did such a marvelous job getting it all together. Mom, Gerry and I flew up to Atlanta Friday night. Once we were picked up by Phil, my son-in-law, the fun began. He drove us to our hotel, we got settled in and called my brother-in-law Jim and sister-in-law Pat, staying in the same hotel. As they arrived in the lobby, so did my son-in-law and Daddy to be Michael with his parents. We all sat and had a really nice visit. The next day was the shower. Alison looked radiant. Since I had last seen her in July, her tummy changed. Aside from having gotten bigger, you could now see that the baby is all to the front of her (and her back ache is testament to that fact). But I swear, I have never seen Alison look happier or calmer than she did on Saturday. Her friends arrived, some I had met in July, some were new to me. They were the nicest group of women. I am so happy that Alison made such good friends in the year she has lived here. The men left - they went to watch football at a local sports restaurant, and we got down to business....eating the great spread that I & B set out, talking and getting to know one another. Then it was time for the best part - watching Alison open the gifts. She got some help from Blue, her dog who loves to open gifts (he thinks they are all for him). Orange, her other dog, was fairly content to sit back and let Blue do all the work. Oh, you can't see it but Blue (and Orange) were wearing matching T-shirts that said: (Orange) - I'm the BIG Brother!....(Blue) - I'm the BIGGER Brother! They LOVE their shirts! What fun....each gift was beautiful and totally useful. Everyone was so generous and good to Alison, and as the Grandma to be, I couldn't be happier.

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Phil and Becca surprised Alison and Michael with an original design, hand crafted rocking motorcycle made by Phil. I knew about it but was amazed when I saw it. Alison and Michael are major University of Florida fans/alumni....did you ever see anything so amazing in your life? Phil is unbelieveably talented!!!

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When the shower was over and we rested a bit, the whole family went out to dinner. There were 12 of us and again we had a lot of fun.

The next day Alison and Michael threw a brunch for the family before we left town for home. It was relaxing, and gave me a little more time with my girls. Here we are, the whole fam damily, backrow, from left: Papa Gerry (my hubby), Grandpa Lennie and Grandma Karen (Michael's parents), Great Grandma Ruth (my mom), Grandma (THAT"S ME!!!), Uncle Phil and Aunt Beccca, Alison's Uncle Jimmy; front row: Alison's Aunt Pat, Alison and Michael.

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The next time I see Alison and Michael, they will officially be a Mommy and a Daddy! Counting the days!!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Short (?) Update

A quick vent: I had a lousy week, have not felt good in over a week. I spent the Labor Day weekend at home with a very sore throat, laryngitis (my throat still sounds "funky"), taking antibiotics and antihistimine, and doing tons of schoolwork. But....this much aniticipated weekend is here and we are flying to Atlanta tomorrow night for Alison's baby shower tomorrow. I can't wait to see her and her growing tummy, see Becca and Phil and Michael, as well as my brother-in-law Jimmy (my ex's brother) and sister-in-law Pat, who are making the 5 hour drive from Ocala to attend.

In the meantime, just had to post: the vest that I made for my friend Carla's 2 yr old son. It's made using a skein of Caron's Simply soft. I love it....easy, fairly quick and came out so cute.

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When I came home yesterday there was my SP8 package waiting for me. Emma was my SP and she was terrific. This last package was wonderful as she had sent a knitted kimono for my grandson, and wrote that it "is the first-ever non-sock, non-scarf garment" that she had ever made. Well, Emma, you did a GREAT job and I can't wait to give it to Alison!

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Emma also send BEA-U-TI-FUL laceweight yard - Suri Elegance by the Alpaca Yarn's 100% Suri Alpace in the most beautiful shadeof light green....oooo, it's sooooo soft. Thanks so much, Emma!!

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Last but not least.....last year my school participated in a Wellness program. We had vital signs (weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc) taken at the beginning and the end of the school year. At the end, the school with the best health improvement won a nice check (beside winning good health). We had to decide what to do with the money, and it was a unanimous vote to send it to Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network for victims of Katrina. When school began this year, our Assistant Principal showed us the letter that she received from Oprah, along with Oprah's picture. The letter and picture will be framed to hang in the main office. We were all so delighted to have received this from Oprah, but more important, we know that every penny that we donated will be going to a wonderful cause. The letter says:

Thank yoy all so much for your generous donation. I wnated to send you a special note of congratulations for winning the award for the Healthiest School! Education as you know is of the utmost importance to me and I celebrate with you in this very fine achievement. your donation means a great deal to me and my Angel Network organization.

One of our big projects is to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina rebuild their lives, and your contribution will certainly help us do that. You can be assured that 100% of your gift will be used in a way that will help many people in need.

May you continue all your lives to listen to your hearts and do good things for others. I truly wish you the very best of luck in your future, and applaud and encourage your hard work in school. Education is power, and you're all off to a great start!


Oprah Winfrey

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How cool is that?!!