Friday, November 22, 2013

Neverwhere (aka Randomness)

Its 12:54 am

    Back again...its very cold here in SE Michigan and we are expecting our first real snow tomorrow,about a half of inch is expected to fall tomorrow. Just enough to make traffic rather hairy getting home.

 Paladin is sleeping on our bed,he really is a hoot...he loves to run and play. He has started to make his scratch pad into a tent but better be careful when petting him,he gets really serious about defending that tent! But he and I are doing much,much better. He slept next to me under the covers for six hours,warm as can be. I think being a short haired kitty,he will be affected by the cold winter much more then Derek Jeter and Ginger were.
  My week has been pretty vanilla...we didn't make our volunteer project as last Wednesday night saw our store's department heads having to stay very late to do a major floor set. I actually ended up working two extra hours (thanks Rich and John) helping out in lumber. I left at 10:30 and told my two volunteer partners if it got too late to scrap the trip...and at 12:45 am,I got the call....its wouldn't be right to expect these guys to bust their asses for 12 hours only to be get up at 6 am to do the volunteer project. But there will a lot of chances to contribute somewhere soon.
   Today is 11 November....21 years ago my family lost my brother Peter when he was killed via the most American way...the gun. Still hurts all these years later,still can recall everything about that fateful day. The disbelief,the trip to the airport...the having the same empty hollow feeling knowing his death will be just another of case file sitting in Bremerton Police Dept.
Photo: Another year passes but always yesterday. I can count on both hands how many times the Lord has blessed me with my brother in my dreams but I want to thank the Lord right now for blessing me last night for allowing me to hang out with my brother once again. The beautiful part about it is when he is in my dreams we talk about life right now as I'm living it. I love you Pete!
  I can still see Peter playing baseball,chilling with my other brother,Philip and glad to be alive up in Washington. It was all taken away from us and I find it bitterly ironic that on the day we remember our soldiers in the armed forces who gave all to protect us from enemies foreign,it was a fellow American here on our soil who killed my brother.

   Saw the news this week that Blockbuster is closing its last 300 stores by 1 Jan 14. one time they had over 2,000 stores and were considered too big to fail...but once streaming and Netflix hit,it just crushed them flat. I have a store that I have written about before about a half a mile away from the house. I cruised by a few times to raid the 4 for 20 sale they would run once in a while. Its sort of weird but that store was actually pretty busy,especially at night and during the weekend.

  It will be a real shame as a lot of folks will be losing their jobs at the worst possible time. Just like the used music and bookstores,both seem to be fading away...I know that Barnes and Noble took a major earnings beating last quarter which was a shock considering they are the only real bookstore chain left. Its getting harder and harder to find places to simply get a affordable CD,book or movies. Guess I make one last run over there on Tuesday because I have a gift card I better use before I can't anymore.

  Detroit has a new mayor in Mike Duggan....he is the first white mayor in 40 years. He is walking into his city being run by a emergency manager because of the severe debt the city is in. His city council will be a mixture of decent returnees to the typical Detroit voter voting for a "name" instead of the best person suited for the job. Is Duggan the answer,nope..I personally am dying to know why he ran for the office. I could understand it if you really had a chance to make a real impact but I just don't see it happening for him. You already know there will be sharp clashes with Duggan and the city council,the crime continues to rise...we had two terrible shootings this week....a 19 year old woman was shot by a homeowner when she knocked on his door after being in a car crash. He shot her in the back of the head and didn't bother to call the cops,his neighbors did.
  And at a barbershop,some illegal gambling got outta hand and one player decided to settle up with the house by shooting 10 people,killing two. The new police chief seems rather lost in trying to gain any direction in which to try and slow things down. I think the only thing that may slow things down is the weather. Generally here in Detroit,the colder the weather,the less static because no wants to go out and be cold in committing a crime. Summer means warmer weather and more restless youths that can acquire a gun and get into trouble.
  But a glimmer of hope does beckon for the future,former police chief Warren Evans is gearing up for a run as County Executive for the county I live in,Wayne. I think he will be a force to be reckoned with,just as he was as police chief.

   Been watching the ACA stumble out of the gate with the website crashing and the White House not seeing that the insurance companies would be dropping millions out folks. This is the second major misstep the Obama WH has committed in rolling out this reform,the first allowing employers to abuse the intent of reform to gut the hours of a part-time employee to 29 hours or less and not taking any steps to correct it.

18 Nov

1:49 am

Listening to a massive storm tearing through our town. Last week we had our first snow and today feels like April with a spring like storm bring rain,high winds and over 80 tornadoes down south. I heard there was a tornado in Ann Arbor and a huge gust of wind hit Ypsilanti at 70 mph. As I am typing this,I can hear the wind and rain bounce off the house,our large tree on the NW corner of house...its branches are scrapping the siding. So far,we have done pretty well in terms of not losing power as so many have had the bad luck of doing so. Paladin is curled up on his fleece blanket on the floor.
Incredible home video of a couple whose house was hit by a tornado. You gotta love this dude,he sees his house is all done but he is talking how he hopes his neighbors are alright. We all should be so lucky to have him as a neighbor.

22 Nov

5:34 pm

As you can see,this is a rolling blog as I have been feeling pretty hollow as of late. The holidays are in full swing now. Our store has its live Christmas trees in stock and yes,someone bought one even as we were rolling them out. I saw actress Shanna Moakler posted a picture of her tree already up and raring to go...

  I am staying quiet this day. I was kindly invited to several places but I just am in no mood to give thanks this year. I know...selfish and self-centered but I couldn't really give a damn what others think. Right now,I am just trying to make it through this period of the year.
  The lack of activity on my part is starting to be felt. I have so many good intentions but again,just as in June,once I get home...I am done. I check Paladin's bowl and his litterbox,fix dinner (thanks Barb!) and just retreat within myself. I think about our past Thanksgivings,what we did,what we ate and who came over. I thought maybe I would host a orphan's night for some of my co-workers but maybe next year.
  My insomnia is wicked and is getting worse,twice this week,I was up until 6 am...and I had went to bed at 10 pm both nights!!I even read a book...I finally got a Jack Reacher novel that my dad has highly recommended. I saw clips of the movie on YouTube,the character looks pretty bad-ass as portrayed by Tom Cruise.

  As I started reading the book,I got a sense of deja vu even though it was my first time reading any Reacher books. It wasn't until I came across a bar fight scene in the book that I figured I was reading the novel they based the movie on. When I went back to look at the fight scene,it clicked...that Tom Cruise was 6 inches too short and about 80 pounds too light compared to Jack Reacher in the book.

  Nonetheless,its a good fast read and I will have to tell my pops that he picked out a good writer.
Normally when I read,it tires me out and helps me sleep...but when I found myself halfway through the book,wide awake,I knew I was in trouble.
 My phone has too answering answering machine that comes on when I am not home and a one that kicks in when I'm on the phone. Last week,I decided to check out those messages and clean the box out.
  Imagine my surprise when I heard messages from before May. The doctors,hospice,friends all leaving messages. And one that has totally left me so hurting...Lori calling me from downstairs the night I had been up so long I needed to sleep. It was the night that her fistula has caused her so much grief and I had spent all day trying to keep her clean. Her message was "Michael,where are you. I need you". Jesus hear that today...I am just so hollow and so ashamed. I really did try my best...I swear to God,I did. My poor Lori...
  Needless to say,I am not so well this week. I keep seeing her in the bed...and I just weep. I can't help it...I just do.
  This Tuesday night,St. Thomas aBecket is having its Memorial service for the church members who have passed away the past year. Why two days before Thanksgiving,I couldn't tell you but there you have I will be going once more to get a little cross that hung on the wall. Lori's best friend,Deb and her boyfriend Michael will be going with me to the service. That will be nice as I won't be going alone.

 I went grocery shopping today after clipping my coupons. I paid off my mortgage (thank you God for letting me stay here another month) and then went out onto the floor. The store was busy but not quite as busy as it will be come Tuesday-Wednesday night.Harking back to my Farmer Jack days,Thanksgiving was always a source of amusement to us because normal sane people would get all crazy come the last two days...looking for the last minute deals on turkeys and complaining about prices. You would just smile and nod your head...taking the heat for things beyond your control. But once in a while you get a chance for sweet when some dude would ask how to defrost a turkey the DAY before Thanksgiving. My favorite was telling them to use a blow dryer or put the turkey in a sink full of water overnight. The real challenge was to keep a straight face when suggesting the blow dryer and hope the cashier next you wouldn't start laughing.

  Ah,to have that laugh today....but it was just me and my coupon book hunting bargains while watching the many families shop for the big day. Couples holding hands,kids asking for cherry pie instead of apple while teens wanted popcorn for a movie night. The sounds were festive and joyful. I walked up and down looking for the items I had coupons for and any good deals I may have missed or the store hadn't pushed.
  An hour later I was done and I saw Debbie,our regular cashier. I commented I hadn't seen her very much as of late and she said "They gutted our hours". She went from working 40 hours to 22 and was feeling it (no kidding). She asked how I was doing,she said I looked "haunted". Aye....and then she shared she herself was a widow at age 31. She had a eight year old boy that kept her going she said. She was going to share more but her line suddenly became busy and she had to go.
  Got home and put away the few things I had gotten and then nuked my dinner.
I started to read my book...but started to think about the news I had gotten this week. I got a email from my friend Michelle in North Dakota. She said her husband had been in a terrible crash. Brad drives a semi for a living and he was on his way either going to or dropping off a load. There was a slight snowfall as he drove down a two lane road.
 As he was driving,a Army convoy was going the other way. In between the military trucks was a car. The driver of the car was going too fast for the weather,wasn't paying attention and saw they were too close to the Army truck ahead to be able to stop safely. The driver,instead of going on the shoulder of the road,dashed into the other lane and with Brad only 15-20 feet away,it was too late. They hit head on...

Brad's skill,truck size and his guardian angel saved him. The driver wasn't so blessed and died from the impact. The passenger was critically wounded. The picture above is what remains of Brad's truck. Michelle wrote and said she planned on holding him very tight when he got home.
 I am just so happy that he is okay and I hope he knows there wasn't anything he could have done to avoid this. I know he will have sleepless nights but pray that he finds peace and know that we love love him very much...even if we haven't met.
  My den is a mess. I haven't been into coming up here as much as of late. I don't know why as I actually like the room quite a bit. I am planning to have my pal and fellow fan boy,Dominic,come over and help me hook up my wireless printer. That will happen after Thanksgiving. I am thinking of combining it with a movie night here. It would be my first social interaction here at the house since Lori. I mean,I have had people over but helping me sort thru Lori's things and burying Derek Jeter doesn't rate very high on the "so much fun" meter.

 As many of you know,I don't watch much TV these days. I generally sit downstairs with a DVD on and play with Paladin. But I do watch on Tuesdays (everything else,I catch up with on the iPad),especially my favorite show,"Person of Interest". The show is in its third year and has been very good this season. The writer's decided to wrap up a arc that has been play the first two seasons about a group of corrupt cops called "HR".
  They decided to end it with a 3 part story called "Endgame" and in which they said a member of the regular cast was going to die. The boards were rife with who was going to die. The feeling was Fusco or Shaw was going to die and the previews pretty much looked bad for Lionel.
 So imagine our shock and dismay when the writer's killed off Joss Carter...never saw it coming in the slightest. I was just staring at the screen as Carter slowly died in Reese's arms. Its pretty rare to to see a strong black female lead on TV and to say I'm bitterly disappointed is a understatement. While I like the Shaw and Fusco characters,I would have killed either one of them off before killing Carter. The fallout and the end of the arc ends this month before POI goes on a 3 week hiatus. It will be interesting to see what they come up with...

Sorry this has taken so long to get here and I am thankful you all are still with me.

I can be found on Twitter @Jinzo_2400

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Shout outs

Cheryl - Thanks for dinner!
Peter T - Enjoying the tea! What a nice thing to have on a cold day.
Sheri - thanks for having my 6
Barb- For everything
Brad and Michelle - You are blessed.
Maren- Sending warm thoughts your way concerning your grandpa
Denise - inside and out,always a jewel
Carl,Susan - #ninjafarts
Melanie and Terrie - just because.
Sue - Thanks for the coffee and friendship. I still owe you a bag of sunflower seeds

Monday, November 4, 2013

Safe Passage: Improving End-of-Life Care

It's 1:30 am

I like to thank Marianne for this entry,I copied it from her blog. It's a very strong article that you need to read.

A leading doctor has devoted his life to helping the terminally ill–and their families–face their mortality with honesty, dignity, and compassion

Excerpted from The Best Care Possible by Dr. Ira Byock, published by Avery Books, an imprint of Penguin books (LISA) Inc. Buy the book.
"Tell me about your father."
Ira Byock, MD, director of palliative medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, waits attentively for the answer, elbows resting on his knees.
Seated across from him on a floral sofa in the quiet conference room at DHMC, 59-year-old Julia Dillard* takes a deep breath and launches into a litany of the dire medical problems besetting her 83-year-old father, who was referred to Dr. Byock's palliative care team after it became clear that his condition was grave. Inoperable aneurysms hide in his brain and aorta. Lymphoma lurks in restless remission. The rusty hinges of his heart stay barely cobbled together after bypass and valve replacement surgeries.
His eyesight is failing; nerves in his legs are slowly dying.
Dr. Byock takes in this clinical laundry list without interrupting. Then he says again, "No, tell me about your father. Tell me about the man he is."
As though his words suddenly release her from the tense, jargon-filled hospital world of worsening symptoms and grim prognoses, Dillard's face softens, and she shares family stories: how her father met her late mother at MIT and always said it was love at first sight, never failing to mention how incredibly gorgeous she and her red hair were. More memories follow: a carousel ride; visits to the public library; his generous, kind presence in his daughter's adult life; his stoicism even now–not complaining or admitting that he's in pain. Finally, her stories stop. But it's clear that she feels this is the right answer: This is who her father is.
In an age of specialists and aggressive medical protocols, people who've reached the end of their lives can get trapped in a frightening and frantic maze of tests and technology. Doctors and the families of the dying may lose sight of the person within the patient and see him as a series of medical battles to be won–until they can't be won any longer. Dr. Byock's mission is to help everyone involved find meaning, dignity, and peace in these final months of life.
Few would argue against the idea that end-of-life care in America needs an overhaul. Patients typically undergo aggressive treatments for the conditions afflicting them, ending their days in a semiconscious haze of pain and pain-killing drugs; often, no one addresses the fact that they're dying. In large part, this is because doctors are taught that their primary goal is to fight disease and injury. "Physician training reinforces a denial of dying, death, and grief and emphasizes combating the disease over helping the patient," Dr. Byock says.
Take pneumonia, he explains. The human body is hardwired with a variety of ways to shut itself down naturally, and pneumonia is one of its least painful exit strategies. It's also one of the most treatable, so doctors rush in to intervene, and each regimen–antibiotics, ventilators, surgery – forces the body of a critically ill patient to find a more painful way to die.
Dr. Byock wants to make that a more thoughtful process. He believes that for each patient, a loving, frank, and compassionate collective of doctors, family members, and, of course, the patient herself should discuss what her prognosis is, what's medically possible, and what trade-offs she may want to make between her remaining time and her quality of life.
Dr. Byock's philosophy has been honed over the 34 years he has spent working in hospice and palliative care and advocating for the rights of end-of-life patients. If we accept death as a normal stage of life, he believes, it goes against both nature and common sense to approach a dying person as merely a series of medical problems to be solved. "Difficult decisions are often made in moments of crisis and based on nonmedical factors, such as a patient's fear, a doctor's ego, or a family's unresolved issues," he says. "Face the fear, set ego aside, and address the problems–that creates a space in which to ask the hard questions, listen to each other with respect, weigh options realistically, and make decisions responsibly."
Thus, the palliative treatment that Dr. Byock has developed for patients facing the end of their lives includes elements of the hospice care it grew from. "Our first priority is to alleviate suffering," he says. But palliative care also means "being honest with patients about their illness, treatment options, and life expectancy. This does not destroy hope," says Dr. Byock. "On the contrary, by communicating fully and honestly, doctors enable people to choose how they want to live their last days and focus their aspirations on things that are achievable, which is the very definition of hope.

End-of-life counseling was derided as "pulling the plug on Grandma" during recent political debates on health care reform, and its practitioners were vilified as "death panels." But the research strongly suggests otherwise. Although palliative care is a relatively new field, having been introduced to US hospitals around 20 years ago, numerous studies of critically ill people receiving hospice care (in which patient comfort is emphasized over treatment of the illness) have found that these patients live weeks or even months longer and feel better, physically and emotionally, than those who receive only conventional medical treatment. The most important study, conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, revealed that lung cancer patients who got palliative care in tandem with standard oncological treatment enjoyed a "significantly better quality of life and lower rates of depression," according to lead author Jennifer S. Temel, MD. What's more, those patients lived an average of 2.7 months longer.
Although patients' welfare is Dr. Byock's primary concern, the overstrained health care system would also benefit from adopting his ideas. In 2009, Medicare paid $60 billion for hospital and doctor bills during the last 2 months of patients' lives, and between 20 and 30% of those costs may have had no meaningful impact on either prolonging or improving the patients' lives. Patient-centered care, it has been estimated, would save the system between 30 and 40%, in addition to its many benefits for patients and their loved ones.
Nonetheless, although approximately 5,000 hospice programs are operating in the United States, there are only 73 palliative medicine fellowships. No hospital is eager to advertise itself as a great place to die, but Dr. Byock's high profile, busy speaking schedule, and best-selling books have helped put DHMC on the map, and a special few who have a calling for this important work find their way to him.
"People know a certain style of palliative care is being taught here," says Dr. Byock. "We respond to every facet of each individual patient's well-being. What we're doing is intended to change the world, but we're always feet on the ground, seeing the next patient."
And the concern encompasses the patient's loved ones too: "The patient experiences his death momentarily; the family lives with it permanently," Dr. Byock says. But grief doesn't have to be the family's only response. He credits this insight to his early career in emergency care. "Often people would tell me that the end of a loved one's life had actually been a time of precious value for them and their family," he says. From then on, he decided to try to give every family that opportunity to come together in support of their loved one.
That's why Dr. Byock and his palliative care team offer everything from explaining and advising on treatment options to providing psychological counseling when needed–or just a compassionate ear at any time of the day or night. They can also assist family members in negotiating nonmedical concerns, such as transferring legal obligations, and help both them and the patients gain the perspective to feel a sense of closure and say good-bye.
Dr. Byock's intensely caring, focused attention on every person he treats may seem unique, but his influence touches all DHMC doctors. His team's morning huddles include staff from every department of the hospital–oncologists, social workers, massage therapists–to ensure that everyone treating a terminal patient is aware of and sensitive to all aspects of her condition, frame of mind, and decisions.
Three months after Dr. Byock's first conversation with Dillard, her father decides to decline any further surgery for his cancer, preferring to forgo the debilitating pain so that he can savor the time he has left. But he has been going to physical therapy and attending DHMC exercise programs. His balance has improved, his strength and stamina are growing, and he feels more confident in his body. The end could be a hundred days away. Or 5 years. Or it could be tomorrow. But today – today he is doing well.
Dr. Byock and Dillard sit down for another in their series of talks. He asks her how the story of her father's life ends.
"Well, if we're lucky, an aneurysm would go, and he would die in his sleep."
"That's the pathological ending," Dr. Byock gently interrupts, "for a story in a medical journal. How does the story of your father's remarkable life end for your dad, but also for you and your sister?"
Slowly, Dillard tells him that her father has taped a "do not resuscitate" order behind a portrait of her mother on his bedroom wall–something Dr. Byock needs to know to honor his wishes. And discussing her father's death calmly and sympathetically, before the final crisis, helps Dillard start to come to terms. "He'll be okay," she says, "and so will I."

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let me tell you how funny cancer is...(and other stuff!)

Its 12:32 am

    Another cold grey day here in SE Michigan,its been a week since we have seen sustained sunshine here. Guess Fall is rapidly pulling out and old man winter is come to visit.
Photo: Guardian Cat.....
 Paladin is doing extremely well and is behaving like a boss. Yesterday,I opened the blinds in the living room so he could scope out the birds hiding in the shrubs,they were trying to stay dry from the all day rain we got on Halloween. He jumped up and was extremely animated,making chattering noises. Now before,he would be really tense and ready to growl if I touched him...but what I did was sit down and watch him...when I said his name,he jumped over and asked for a pat on his head and some sugar...impossible two weeks ago. Now I didn't open the window itself so he wasn't overwhelmed with the noises and smells. We'll have all winter to work on this issue and see if he can't find a happy medium come spring time. 
  I got some great news this week for a change.....our co-worker Justin is home today or tomorrow. He was our store's HR person and also a Naval Reservist who trained men to fight fires. Through some unholy reason,he was selected to go to Afghanistan and serve as a soldier manning a high risk security checkpoint. 
Before he left,Lori asked me to give him a cross of hers as a way of asking God to keep him safe and sane during his posting. I know he is home safe but until I get to talk with him and see for myself,I just hope he didn't see any combat or have to shoot in anger. The stress level he must have been under must have been immense. The good thing is he going to be able to come back to our store,in what position we don't know as we have a new scheduler since he left. I haven't spoken to him since he left,I know he talked to three other people but I can understand that,we have 110 employees and trying to stay in touch would be next to impossible. Just overjoyed he is home...
  The kitchen project is coming along well enough...Howard came by and applied another coat of mud to the crack and will be grouting the crack in the tile come this Monday. That will be part one of the house project,next we will be weatherproofing it before it really gets cold.
  Last Saturday saw me home and following the Wyoming-San Jose State on It looked ugly as the Cowboys jumped to three 16 point leads before the Spartans came roaring back to stop Wyoming,51-44 as quarterback David Fales passed for 482 yards and 5 touchdowns and scored the winning score on a 1 yard rush with 8 seconds remaining. Leading the defense was ball hawk CB Bene Benwikere who had a interception and a fumble recovery. San Jose State is now 3-1 in Mountain West play and 4-3 overall. Today they will be at UNLV who is a surprising 3-1 and 5-3. This game is for 2nd place in the West Division and a must win for the Spartans before they come home to battle a much improved San Diego State team. 
  As for me,I will miss the game as I am going on my first social gathering since Lori's leaving. My coffee friend Sue from work is hosting a party at her house for the Michigan-Michigan State game. She is a die-hard Wolverine fan (I know,I keep trying to convince her she is rooting for the wrong team!) and she invites a ton of folks for a huge feast and to watch the game. Afterwards,if the weather allows,she is going to have a bonfire in her huge fire pit. I have to say,I am looking forward to going,even if I get there after the game. I am sure it will be a good time for everyone. 
  I was looking at my old was October of last year that we learned Lori's cancer had come back. That in six months,she would be gone. I get told all the time not to look back,not to have regret,not wonder "what if"...but its never that simple. It is what happens when you have nothing but the memories of a long struggle. I know that eventually that the good memories will come back...I look at our wedding pictures and the other signs that marked 14 years of being a couple.
  I have a friend on Facebook named Nancy Gershman,we have chatted a little but this week was a little different,she posted a interview on her website. Its part of a series called Tragicomedia in which she asks different people on how they deal with the death of a loved one and how humor plays a role.
  Its a bold idea and I grant Nancy that,its a subject I wouldn't approach and that includes if Lori was alive.
Well the interview I read was by a woman named Sandi,who calls herself "The Irreverent Widow" after her husband died of pancreatic cancer.
   What Sandi thought was humor merely comes across as crass and disrespectful. The crap about wearing sexy clothes,the grief group not having enough "good looking people",the doctor telling her husband that his wife has a nice ass...what a crock of horseshit. And that is what I wrote in my comment (I was very nice on Nancy's page but since I'm on my ground here,I can cut loose). 
 At my store,we have at two widows,a woman whose husband is very sick with kidney problems and a man who transferred from Florida to Michigan because his wife was dying and they wanted to be near family. Well his wife died four days ago....but I asked the three ladies if they saw any humor during their husband's ordeal and deaths. I shared the story on the website and they were pretty offended. I didn't tell them anything but what the interview said and I was neutral in the telling. The humor is found in the warm memories of the relationship,the days when you were lying in bed or on a blanket watching fireworks and made a joke of some little event. Small things like Derek chewing up a slipper or Lori burning a dinner so bad and I sat there telling her how good it was while my face said "what the devil is this"? 
  Watching someone you are in love with is not funny. There are some gentle moments,like drinking contrast before a MRI or watching Terrie and Melanie fuss over Lori. But there isn't anything funny at what cancer does. Sandi's idea of humor reminds me of what Chris Rock said about homelessness. He said if you see a homeless person with a funny sign,there haven't been homeless very long. 
  And that what I felt when I read her interview,she could use humor so easily,not so much as a coping mechanism,but I feel because there was a lack of a true love there...maybe they were more friends then soulmates,I don't know. I just found her to be a sorely lacking in the compassion department. Overly sensitive? Maybe....but I don't think so...
  You be the is the link to the interview.  Read it and then come here and let me know what you think. I did notice one thing about Nancy's series....the lack of comments. Not because she isn't a good a writer because she is but I think people are too taken back at some of the flippant answers that are so easy to say but maybe not easy to actually experience.
 So yesterday was Hello Kitty's birthday. She turned 39 years old and looks the same as the day she was born. I have written this many times but since there are always new readers just joining the party...Hello Kitty was pretty big in our house. Not crazy big but I always bought a Hello Kitty calender as Lori's first Christmas gift every year. I also got her one small Hello Kitty item as it a pen set,a pad of paper,Christmas Tree ornament. It was one of my favorite things to give her,she would always insist on small items because she didn't want anyone to come over and see a house full of Hello Kitty.
 I spent the day at my store reminding folks that it was her birthday. It made me feel close to Lori today,she would have called me "goofy" and she would have been right.

My next entry will be on Sunday night and it will be by guest blogger Susan Smiley. I am looking forward to seeing what she has to write about this time 'round. And I am glad to say that its a much happier column then her first one.  
I worked on Halloween night this year. It was a miserable,rainy day and night. It pretty much washed out the kids in my sub from going trick or treating. I had written that many folks here had once again cut back on the displays that had been abundant that past three years. When I rolled in my sub at 8:30 pm,there wasn't a single kid out but that wasn't the case elsewhere.
  It seems like some subs are now posting signs asking that only those neighborhood kids who live there to be to go door to door. Too many churches from dangerous places (Detroit,Inkster) are loading kids up and heading to the suburbs to go trick or treating. We saw that happen three years ago and in fact we ran out of candy and Lori had to dash out for more. 
  One of my co-workers said 90% of the kids she saw were not from her neighborhood and that she ran out of candy far faster then normal. She was upset about this and said it wasn't fair to her own kids. What do you think? Would you be willing to pass out candy to a bused in group of kids?

Doing a 30 Day photo challenge this month with Andy and Kerri Appleton....we have a theme that we have to shoot a picture that best describes the word of the day. For Day One,Picture One....the word is "truth"

Photo: #photochallenge I am going to try and do a 30 day photo challenge that Andy and Kerri are doing with a different theme each day. Day 1 is for Truth. There is a lot going on in this shot.

I will post the rest of the month as I blog along. 

Shout Outs!

Barb- Thank you so much!
Andy and Kerri - What a great idea!
Gretchen Peters - Not missing your show this time!
Nancy G.- Thank you for allowing me to comment on your page
Sue - Go Blue! (for this Saturday at least)
McFly - 3 World Series in 9 years? Break up the Red Sox!
Steve and Jimmy - Thanks for not blowing us out too badly
Maren- It was nice meeting you this week.
SU2C- That was so overwhelming this week,so very touched!
Brad and Michelle- Wish you were here to see number three with me!
Bene - Have another great game!
Noel - Get that knee better,we need you #23!
Susan- Going live on Sunday!

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