Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Wow, I have been busy this week!
Monday I went to work at 8:00 and got to doing whatever I do then I noticed it was time to head over to Camano Island. There is a new Park & Ride lot that is opening next week and we needed to have a public input meeting to see what the public wants from us. I didn't get home until 10:30 last night, then went to work at 8:00 this morning and interviewed all day. I have nothing planned for tonight so I will jot a few words and go to bed early!!
I love this time of year. I have some friends that grow corn and I get that for free, then my other friend grows asparagus and green beans. I'm getting a bunch of green beans tomorrow. I love to cook them with bacon ends and pieces and chopped onions and garlic for hours and have a huge bowl for dinner!! NUM! Some other friends have a prune tree, and I have eaten about 10 of them this afternoon. Peaches, apples, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini! The land of plenty. We are so very fortunate to live where we live, that is for sure!!
A lavendar farm is going out of business so I got a bunch of plants and am planting them in my whiskey barrells. It will look great next year.
I have the Republican Convention on, and I don't know why. All they are, are a bunch of politicians having a big pep rally. I'm just too lazy to flip channels.
Time for the shower and bed..

Thought for the day..
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy shit...what a ride!"

I love it!!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

And the Winner Is.....

Drum Roll...................................................

Tipsy McStagger!!! Presented by Leslie in Canada!!

Well heck, now I have to figure out what she wins! Hmmm, I didn't think of that!

TA DA!!!!

I can't believe it, I got up today at 9:30 and went back to bed at 10:30 to read and just woke up at 2:30!! My cat was right next to me too! I feel ok, just lazy!!
I had to keep my door closed and locked because yesterday I was napping and I woke up to one of my neighbor friends (8 years old) looking at me and asking why I have that thing on my face!! (I have a CPAP machine for my sleep Apnea). I told him I was from outer space and the atmosphere here is bad for me so I need to be recharged once in awhile! HAHAHAHA Then he said that his mom said there was no such thing as fog monsters! I told him well if that is what she wants you to believe, ok. But I know for a fact they exist because they were stuck in my house until the next fog rolled in and then they could go back out! He asked if they were mean, and I said no, they were mischievious like you! They giggle and you can't see them unless you look really really hard. He looked at me and was taking in every word!! HAHAHAHA I might be called off limits by his mom if I keep this up!! Hmmmmm...
I feel bad, he just came up to my door and I have it closed he didn't knock, he just walked off. Ok, I'm a meany but I want my solitude right now. I love the kids, but I do neeed my rest ya know?

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Well it sure felt good to sleep in today! I woke up at 8:15 and actually woke the cat up too! She kind of rolled over and let me get up and hobble to the bathroom. She was still there when I came back in the bedroom. She was snuggled up in the flannel sheets not wanting to move over and let me back in!! So I went in the kitchen and took my morning pills, checked my blood sugars, and cooked breakfast. Now I know why I like Saturdays so much. It is sleeping in until I wake up naturally, and cooking breakfast!! I love eggs and only have them on Saturday and Sunday. My boss raises chickens and I get some farm fresh eggs!! Then my other friends have corn and I get some fresh corn on the cob, and then I'll grill a steak tonight with the fresh corn. Hmmm does it sound like I look forward to the weekend because off the food?
Two of my new friends (ages 8 & 9) are over visiting me. My goodness they are a bunch of brats!! I am doing my laundry and stripped my bed. I was putting the fitted sheets on the bed and they helped. I walked into the other room and heard a bunch of giggling and squeeling. I went back to the bedroom and they were jumping up and down on the bed. I just turned around and left and let them have their fun. I will finish making the bed after they leave. Stephanie, the 9 year old left a mess last time so Iwouldn't let her have any gum. She begged, and I said she could have the gum I'm chewing but not fresh gum, so she took it and started chewing it!!! Eyyyyuuuu!!!! Now they are playing Yahtzee. My cat is hiding under the table. My sister called a few minutes ago and she heard them in the background. I'm sure she is thinking "better you than me". I love them!! Oops now one is coloring and the aother is playing Yahtzee by herself.
Mark from "Better Living" visited me so I went over there and visited him. I love his message today. It is a repeat of his Easter message last year. Go say hello to him! Faith, you would like what he has to say I think.
Well I better go supervise the brats..er children!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Cast your vote

Ok, I started something and now I must follow through on it. I started a name the drunk bear contest and got 8 suggestions. So I think I will put their names down and let everyone cast their votes.
I will post the winner on Sunday.
1. Pop Top
2. Bearly Beer
3. Brewster
4. Rainier
5. Buschless
6. Kerry
7. Fuzz Bucket
8. Tipsy McStagger

Well tomorrow is my favorite day of the week and we have another favorite of mine, a potluck at work!!
I am contributing a tamale pie. It is always a hit when I take it, but expensive to make!!
So I better get busy!!

Thought for the day:
Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

Until Tomorrow, Folks...

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I just got back from Seattle and logged on and my blog popped up and everything looks BIGGER!!
I wonder why?
Ok Mary Lou, what did you do?

Monday, August 23, 2004


I don't have much to say, but feel the need to do so!
I went to work today and put in a whole day!!
I still hurt, but can live with it. I am going to a neurosurgeon to see what he has to say. I want another MRI and I want him to tell me all is ok and I just need to learn to live with it. Ok I can accept that. I have tingling, swelling and redness in my lower legs and feet. I want him to tell me that it is nothing that a pinched nerve is causing. Ok. If it is the Diabetes, I can learn to accept what is thrown at me. But I don't want to walk around for another three years damaging a nerve that could've been fixed now!!
So there, I said it! (Whaaaa).
Off my pitty pot here, My little friends came over at 5:30 after I got home from work today. I showed them the toy box I got for them. (Yahtzee dice, go fish cards, magnet toys, 2 coloring books and colors, and a CING-O dice game). They played yahtzee, beat me at the game, saw my miniature marshmallows and stuffed them all at once in their faces and ran out giggling!!
My goodness but they remind me of myself! I enjoy them. (the kids, too)!
I put my new flannel sheets on my bed yesterday. They are soft & snuggly!! I found them at Costco and they don't lose the softness like other flannel sheets do! They wash good and are still soft and cuddly!! Ahhhh! I don't have a fire place, in fact I hardly turn on my heater in the winter. So I like a warm snuggly bed to crawl into after a long hot bath. I also have a goosedown comforter and a small electric throw to cover my feet. I am ready for Winter to come rolling in anytime now!!
Well, gotta go do some more crocheting on the baby afghan!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Name the "Drunk Bear"

Good Morning everyone!
On August 18th I posted an article about the black bear in Mount Baker State Park Campgrounds that drank 36 beers and passed out.
Now I am going to have a "Name the drunk Bear" contest. Let's see who can come up with the cutest name. "Smoky the Bear" has been famous for years, now we need a more modern bear.
I will post the winner next weekend!

My sister just told me that Rainier Beer has come up with a name the bear contest. But oh well, I will still hold mine.

Moral for the day:
After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he startedroaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral:When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Friday, August 20, 2004


I went to bed last night at about 11:30 and....wait a minute let's back up. Last night I took a pain pill at 11:00, watched the news and went to my recliner to sleep for the night. I set the alarms and fell into a nice drug induced sleep. I woke up a few times and noticed I was pain free so I didn't move and fell back asleep! I woke up this morning to my phone ringing. It was work. I asked what time it was and he said it was 11:00AM!! WHAT??!! I set both alarms at 6:00AM and must've slept right through them!! I haven't slept like that in years!! I decided to stay home again today to get my back better. I am now convinced it is a virus in the muscles/nerves and needed to run it's course. I had a slight temperature the past few days too.

Well I found I can run my small vaccuum while sitting in my rolling desk chair and it doesn't hurt my back. So I cleaned up and even wet mopped the floor while scooting in the chair! Hmmm, where there is a will there is a way!!

My little friends came back today and brought along three of their friends!! I taught them how to play Yahtzee. I also found a way to get rid of old stuck together marshmallws and old stale homemade trail mix. The kids loved them. They also found my wooden toothpicks and made houses with the marshmallows and the toothpicks. Oh, and they also found a few of those big plastic bubble wraps I had by the door to go to the trash. 4 little kids jumping up and down on them on my wooden floors makes on heck of a noise!! So much for my nap today!! When they finally left I needed to drag out the vaccuum again! I have a small hand carried Oreck that is very light and has a long cord and it is very strong! Perfect for the floors I have.

I am enjoying watching the clouds blow in and thinking that we are going to get some rain this weekend! We sure need it!!

Well time for a nappy poo!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Neighbor Kids

I went to work today and came home after 4 hours. I hurt like heck and needed more drugs. I slept on my recliner last night and it was much better waking up this morning. I will try more work again tomorrow. I have a slight fever so maybe this is just a virus that has attacked the weak spot in my back!
I came home at 1:00 today and took a pain pill and settled in for a long nap. As I was nodding off I heard a weak knock on the door. It was 4 siblings ages 5-11 that live in the trailer park, and they like to come over here and play. I have a neat yard now and I keep bubbles out there in the patio. They also like to come inside and slide on my new laminate floor with their socks on. They came in and said "wow, you keep your house clean!!" ME?!! HAHAHAHA they just lucked out that I was bored and cleaned it yesterday. Not having kids of my own I really enjoy other's kids at times. When they get on my nerves I send them on their way. They come in and ask if they could have this or that, and I say no, then they ask if they could look through my cupboards. I let them because I remember when I was a kid going to other people's houses and wanting to look through their cupboards and closets. I brought out the big Boa's & hats I crocheted last Winter and they all put them on and giggled and danced through the house. And here I am trying to nod off on my drugs. They kept saying "Hey sleepy head, and giggled"!! I just get a warm feeling when I make friends with kids like that. I called their mom and told her my phone number in case she was worried about them. She said she was worried that they would get on my nerves. I told her if they did I would send them on their way. It turns out that I am one of their grandfather's bosses! I trained him to drive a bus here. So they are really extra nice now. Well the drug wore off and I didn't get my nap. More tonight.

I recieved this today via E-mail:
So as not to be outdone by all the redneck, hillbilly and Texan jokes, you know you're from California if:
1. Your co-worker has 8 body piercings and none are visible.
2. You make over $300,000 and still can't afford a house.
3. You take a bus and are shocked at two people carrying on a conversation in English.
4. Your child's 3rd-grade teacher has purple hair, a nose ring, and is named Breeze.
5. You can't remember . . . . . is pot illegal?
6. You've been to a baby shower that has two mothers and a sperm donor.
7. You have a very strong opinion about where your coffee beans are grown, and you can taste the difference between Sumatran and Ethiopian.
8. You can't remember . . . is pot illegal?
9. A really great parking space can totally move you to tears.
10. A low speed police pursuit will interrupt ANY TV broadcast.
11. Gas costs $1.00 per gallon more than anywhere else in the U.S.
12. A man gets on the bus in full leather regalia and crotchless chaps, and you don't even notice.
13. Unlike back home, the guy at 8:30 am at Starbucks wearing the baseball cap and sunglasses who looks like George Clooney, really IS George Clooney.
14. Your car insurance costs as much as your house payment.
15. Your hairdresser is straight, your plumber is gay, the woman who delivers you mail is into S & M and your Mary Kay rep is a guy in drag.
16. You can't remember . . . .is pot illegal?
17. It's barely sprinkling rain and there's a report on every news station: "STORM WATCH."
18. You have to leave the big company meeting early because Billy Banks himself is teaching the 4:00 pm Tae Bo class.
19. You pass an elementary school playground and the children are all busy with their cells or pagers.
20. It's barely sprinkling rain outside, so you leave for work an hour early to avoid all the weather-related accidents. . .
21. HEY!!!! Is pot illegal????
22. Both you AND your dog have therapists . . . and lastly
23. The Terminator is your governor.

Time for my meds, huh? Later, folks!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Black Bear Found Passed Out; Beer Cans Nearby

I saw this on the weird headlines news:
This is where I camp all the time too!!

When state Fish and Wildlife agents recently found a black bear passed out on the lawn of the Baker Lake Resort, there were some clues scattered nearby -- dozens of empty cans of Rainier Beer.

The bear apparently got into campers' coolers and used his claws and teeth to puncture the cans. And not just any cans.
Fish and Wildlife enforcement Sergeant Bill Heinck said the bear did try one can of Busch beer, but ignored the rest.
Agents estimate the bear drank about 36 cans of Rainier.
A wildlife agent tried to chase the bear from the campground but the animal just climbed a tree to sleep it off for another four hours.
Agents finally herded the bear away, but it returned the next morning.
Agents then used a large, humane trap to capture it for relocation 20 miles away, baiting the trap with the usual -- doughnuts, honey and, in this case, two open cans of Rainier. The bear went to the beer and that did the trick.

Pain & Depression

Ahh, but to have an entire 24 hours without pain!!
No, I don't think I'd really like that because if things went back to normal the next day it would depress me even more!

I have what I believe now is a pinched nerve in my lower left back area complicated by Fibromyalgia. I have had this pain for at least three years now. I have degenerative disc disease in my cervical area and my lumber area. I was out walking my Siberian Husky in March 2001 (if anyone has ever had a Siberian Husky you know you don't go for a walk, you go for a drag)! Well Tlingit was going at a normal trot like the lead dog does, pulling me right along and he saw a rabbit or mouse, and he took off after it taking me along with him. Only I fell flat on my face on the road, knocking the air right out of me. I was going at a fast pace for a walker (5mph) and I weigh over 200 pounds, so the fall was a really hard fall!! When I hit the pavement I kept scooting for a few feet. I got road rash on my face, and hurt my neck and lower back. It hurt for a few days then was better.
About 2 months later I had a virus and woke up one morning with excrutiating pain!! I have never in my life experienced such pain! I couldn't roll over in bed. It took me about 1/2 hour screaming and maneurvering myself out of bed into the bathroom. I went to the doctor, he sent me to an orthopedic, he did MRI's, etc, then sent me to a Neurosurgeon who told me they could operate on my neck or see how I do with a steroid shot. I opted for the shot. By the time I got the shot it was August 2001!! It took three months to get to the solution! It seemed to work for the upper back area, but I still had a nagging pain in my lower left back area (not sciatica because it doesn't radiate down my leg). My regular doctor gave me 60 Roxicet (Oxycodone) and sent me home. One pill knocked me out for a day!! After a while the pain wasn't as severe. I got a big pillow that is in a wedge shape so I don't lay flat, I put bungee cords from my closet to the bed so I can pull myself out of bed. I also put bungee cords in my bathroom to pull myself out of the tub. When you live alone you figure things out really fast!!
In December this year my lower left hip area started getting worse so I went back to the doctor and he sent me to yet another neurosurgeon who asked if the shot worked last time and I said kinda. so he sent me back to Dr. Chang and this time he shot me in the right area. He apologized if it hurt, and I told him it was a good hurt because it hit the right spot. Well that only lasted about two months. Now the pain is back to excrutiating debillitating horrifying PAIN!!
So, I went to the doctor yesterday and he gave me 30 Vicadin 5/500mg. I got home and took one and whooops!! I bent down to pick something up from the floor and about passed out!! I decided to go lay down in the bed. WRONG!!! The whole world was spinning!! I decided the pills are much too strong so I will only take 1/2 pill from now on!!
Now I am not a doctor, but the pain seems to worsen when I have a virus and it seems to settle in the weak area, so the area swells and aggravates the pinched nerve. The shots will take away the inflamation which I decided I'll go for another shot. But it doesn't stop the pinched nerve effect!! They cannot find a pinched nerve in any MRI because they are very difficult to see.
This too shall pass. It is just not a good feeling to go to bed and dread waking up to pain!! It kinda takes the fun out of a good nights sleep!! All this pain has put me in a depression, but I'll get over it. Now a big glass of brandy would make me feel better, but the problem is I wouldn't bother with the glass!!
Well I am going to take another happy pill and sit in my recliner!!
Nite-nite all!!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Blah blah blah.

Well I really don't have much to say today. I stayed home from work becuse my back is KILLING me! I think the virus I had settled in the sore part of my back. I could hardly get out of bed this morning. I have some pain pills that I got two years ago so I took one this morning and another one an hour ago. They are Niiiiice!! Roxicet: acetaminophen and oxycodone.
I only have 10 left so I am saving them for severe pain. I guess it is time to go back to the doctor and get this taken care of. I need to work at least another 11 years before I can retire.

I called my sister-in-law and sang Happy Birthday to her, and she was tickled. I asked what Mike was doing for her tonight and she said he wasn't going to be home. He has band practice with a new band. I asked if I could take her to dinner and she jumped to the chance!! We had Teriyaki Chicken and boy was that ever good!! I could only eat about 1/3 of it so I know what is for dinner tomorrow!!

Staying home, I was bored so I sat in my rolling desk chair and cleaned out my kitchen drawers. I was thinking of Miss Neatnick Leslie while doing it! Then I cleaned out my refrigerator.
Maybe some day I will get to my spare room!!.......................NAW!!
I'm off to the shower!

Sunday, August 15, 2004

End of the Weekend so Soon!

Well I had another busy weekend and cannot believe it is 8:00 Sunday night already!! I still feel kinda yucky so I am staying home tomorrow and relax.
I took my friend Hannah to lunch yesterday and then went to Costco and spent more than I wanted then went to the mall and got home at 7:00pm.
Today I took a friend of mine to a women's AA meeting. She went back out drinking last month after years of sobriety and hasn't had the courage to go back to a meeting so I got up and took her today. It was a good thing as there was another gal that came in and talked about how all she wants to do is feel "normal". She feels like she doesn't belong anywhere and hates it! I reflected that I have never felt normal or that I never really fit in anywhere.
So what defines "normal"? there isn't a "normal" part of me! I'm not even a "normal" alcoholic!
I have not gone to treatment, I didn't drink on a daily basis and I didn't get drunk everytime I drank. I was a binge drinker and had a blackout once in a while. I have not gone back out drinking since I came into AA, and I don't plan on it. I cannot imagine going back to drinking right now. I probably would be dead in a year! My friend has felt shame and disgust in herself since she went back out, and I feel bad for her. I can't tell her not to feel the shame because I know I would feel the same. That is the one bad thing about AA. We celebrate years of sobriety and applaud the "oldtimers" that have many years built up. (I guess I am considered an old timer with 17 years of sobriety). So when someone goes back out drinking their self esteem goes right down the drain. Bill W. and Dr Bob that started AA both were having problems staying sober, that is why they began Alcoholics Anonymous. Even after they got together and started AA they slipped. So nobody is perfect. AA is here to help us stay sober one day at a time, not 10 years at a time. It is a 24 hour program!! Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox!!
I then went to my sister's place for a barbecue and watched the chicken burn!! Heeheehee. It turned out good. I see she snuck a picture of me and posted it!!! Paybacks are HELL!!
Well time to get something done.
Happy Monday to all!!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Friday the Thirteenth!! (New Moon)

Well I sure started my day out as a bad one!
First of all I slept in. I set my alarm at 6:00 am then the next one for 6:30. I also have the clocks set 10 minutes ahead in case I oversleep. Well my subconscious knows that, so when the alarms went off I kept hitting the ole snooze button!! I finally opened my eyes and it was 8:00!! Well actually 7:50. I called the office and told them I will be in at 9:00.
I feel like I am coming down with a sinus cold or something. I have been sleepy all week and my eyes are blurry and hard to focus.
I headed into work and first off said something to a gal that took it wrong and she got into a tizzy fit. I went to make my instant coffee and poured the water in and it was cold water!!
Then I was sitting in my office trying to run some numbers for the next years budget and maintence had buses sitting right outside my window running all morning, then they were using a high powered drill or something, and I got a headache and couldn't concentrate, so I came home at 2:00pm to get some work done here. I guess I'm not doing much work, huh?
Aww quit my whining!! Ok......I will take a nap and start all over!!
This too shall pass.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

So long, Rick!!

I have always reached out to homeless people and people that seem alone. I feel guilty that I have a warm house and a family to spend my holidays with and want to bring the strays home to share the warmth (which sometimes gets me in trouble). I was touched by a man I saw in Oak Harbor on a daily basis. Rick. He was a gentle man and very nice. I would always smile and say hello to him whenever I saw him. One day I bought some fried chicken at Albertson's and they had a special on legs and thighs, 8 pieces for $2.99. I only wanted thighs, but if I bought 4 thighs I'd have to pay more than the 8 pieces. So I bought the 8 pieces and gave the legs to Rick sitting outside the store. He smiled and thanked me! He was not an alcoholic or addict, he just gave up on life after losing his business and his 10 year fight with cancer. I am glad I put a smile on his face whenever I saw him. You never know what a smile and a kind gesture could do to a person's day!
I heard of his death today and shed a tear and said a prayer for him. Here is the article that is in todays Whidbey News Times:

Phyllis just sent me this picture of Rick's Bench!

City misses Rick, its homeless man
By Jessie Stensland
Oak Harbor is mourning the death of a homeless man who few people knew well but who brought a smile into the lives of many on a daily basis. Richard Edward Pratt, who most knew as “Rick,” died early Friday morning at Whidbey General Hospital, after being transported there the previous evening by ambulance from the Oak Harbor streets he called home. He died from complications of cancer. He was 50 years old. Pitt, always tucked into a thick, dark green quilted coat and sporting a full, reddish beard, lived mainly on the southwest end of town, spending his nights on a bench in Beeksma Park or in nearby City Beach Park, and spending his days hanging around Burger King, 7-Eleven, and across the highway at Starbuck’s and Albertsons. A sunny day would find him sprawled out on a bench, and on rainy days he’d take refuge on a plastic chair under an awning. Oak Harbor apparently isn’t the type of town to turn its back on a man simply because he’s homeless and sometimes in need of clean clothes and a shave. Friends say Burger King often left food out for him, and on cold nights businesses would let him spend the night inside their locked doors. Police Officer Pat Horn checked on Rick regularly. Greg and Linda Wasinger, the owners of 7-Eleven, gave him food and presents each Christmas, including the big coat he wore. Mary Russell, a store clerk, said she’d sometimes bring him left overs. Like many people, Russell suspected he was ill in his last days. “His color was bad,” she said. “You could tell something was wrong.” Pratt didn’t have to be homeless, according to Andrea Groberg, who often chatted with him over coffee at Starbucks. She works for Island Employment Services, and first stopped to offer assistance. But she learned that’s not what he wanted. “He was frustrated because people were always trying to find housing for him,” she said. “It’s the way he wanted to live. He was really intelligent and really kind, and he was part of this community.” Lisa Clark, the director of the Opportunity Council, said she’s received at least a couple dozen calls and e-mail messages over the years from well-meaning folks who wanted the agency to help Pratt, but there was nothing she could do. “He chose to live his life that way,” she said. “Our best advice was to treat him with dignity and respect. He was quite harmless.” Groberg said Pratt has family in Colorado, who didn’t want to deal with his funeral. But she said she wrote a letter to his mother so she would know that her son will be fondly remembered. As far as she knows, he did not have any children. Although nobody seems to have known a lot about Pratt’s past, this much can be pieced together: He was never married. He came to Oak Harbor through the Navy. He ran a computer shop on Pioneer Way next to what is now P.W. Murphy’s. When the business went bust, he hit the streets. “His presence on that bench will be missed,” Mayor Patty Cohen said. “I know that many folks on their way to work would glance over and mentally check on him. I found myself doing that regularly.” Tuesday morning a bench in Beeksma Park was host to an impromptu memorial to “Rick,” as few people seemed to know his last name. Mayor Cohen sent flowers from the city and herself, Johnnie (Sue) Ferguson dropped off a bouquet, and Sue Ellis stopped by to leave a bouquet purchased at 7-11. Her bouquet was wrapped in a brown paper bag, on which she wrote some parting sentiments. “So long, Gentle Giant,” she began. “I will miss you nodding hello.” A nod, a smile, and a hello were all most people got from Pratt, but even that was enough to forge a friendship. “He had his reasons for being quiet,” said Ellis, who works for Nor-Vac Sweeping. She’d often saw him sleeping early in the morning as she swept parking lots. “He was always such a Teddy bear,” she said. “Always real pleasant, and I always honored his privacy.” The big homeless man was never seen drinking alcohol, and never considered a threat, according to Ellis. “I was never concerned when kids were walking past him.” Johnnie Ferguson, a retiree who lives in town, didn’t know Rick Pratt’s last name either, but she considered herself a friend. She said he once lived at Rhododendron Park near Coupeville, and was co-owner of a computer shop on Pioneer Way for a short time before he became homeless. “I got to know him at Henderson’s,” she said, referring to a nearby restaurant where Pratt would sip coffee several years ago. “He was very, very close-mouthed. Our heart went out to him but he couldn’t help it.” The chrysanthemums, gladiolas and dahlias from the city were entwined by a ribbon saying, “In memory, Rick.” A simple, low-keyed statement that Rick Pratt no doubt would have appreciated. Buy a bench An effort is underway to purchase a park bench in memory of Rick Pratt. Anyone wishing to help is welcome to call Andrea Groberg at 279-1407, or look for donation jars in area businesses.

Goodbye Rick,
God rest your soul!! You have touched many of our lives and will not be forgotton!!

Monday, August 09, 2004


There is something very wrong!! It is 7PM and it is 94 degrees at my house!! That is so wrong!! pant..pant..pant!!
My yard looks great and I feel great knowing it looks great. Isn't that just great?!
Can you tell the heat gets to my brain too?
I visited a person to sign him up for Paratransit today and he had three baby kittens. Two black and one grey. All have blue eyes and ready to give away!! They are half Siamese and half horny neighbor cat!! Help me say no!! I LOVE kittens, but Punkin would pack her bags and leave if I brought home a sister or brother!!
To top things off I just recieved the new " Foster and Smith " cat catalog!! Now I want to get one of those $300.00 cat condos to put in the window for Punkin and a new kitten to play in! WHAT DID I JUST SAY?? New kitten? NO!!! Help me!!
It's the heat, I know it is!!

Ok, here's a funny for ya!!
The old outhouse
Ma was in the kitchen fiddlin around when she hollers out.... "Pa!
You need to go out an fix the outhouse!" Pa replies,
"There ain't nuthin wrong with the outhouse." Ma yells back,
"Yes there is, now git out there an fix it."
So......Pa mosies out to the outhouse, looks around and yells back,
"Ma! There ain't nuthin wrong with the outhouse!" Ma replies,
"Stick yur head in the hole!" Pa yells back,
"I ain't stickin my head in that hole!" Ma says,
"Ya have to stick yur head in the hole to see what to fix."
So with that, Pa sticks his head in the hole, looks around and yells back,
"Ma! There ain't nuthin wrong with this outhouse!" Ma hollers back,
"Now take your head out of the hole!"
Pa proceeds to pull his head out of the hole, then starts yelling,
"Ma! Help! My beard is stuck in the cracks in the toilet seat!"
To which Ma replies,
"Hurts, don't it?!"

Now why did I think of Joe's grandad when I posted this???

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Weekend's end

My goodness, where does the time go? We look so forward to the weekend and before you know it, it is time to get ready for Monday morning! WHAAAAAAAA!!
Friday night I got the house cleaned and the laundry done so Saturday I slept until 9:00, then my good looking handy man neighbor came by to finish my front yard.
I had him kill the vegetation under the rose bushes and put down black weed block then put 2 yards of red lava rock down. It looks great!! I then went to a house warming barbecue for an hour then went to Oak Harbor (10 miles away) and took Hannah a "Mocha Moolatte" from Dairy Queen. She does not get any luxeries in her nursing home unless I sneak them in to her. She thought she died and went to heaven!! She made the most sensual noises while eating the shake that we both giggled like high school girls!! I then did some shopping and went to Church.
I got home around 8PM and ate some cold chicken and did some computer work then called a few AA gals and went to bed.
I slept until 8:30 this morning and woke up to someone calling my name. That happens a few times when no body is there. It is weird. I remember in 1967 my dad ran outside looking for a person that was calling his name. He said it happened alot when he was sleeping, he would wake up to someone calling his name! I thought he was losing it, but now it is happening to me. Oh well, I didn't make roll call this time!! I fooled 'em!!
I putzed around doing alot of nothing today then went to another barbecue held for a friend of mine that is visiting from Florida. She lost her 37 year old daughter this Spring to seizures! She had seizures most of her life and had them under control by medications, but decided she wanted another child so cut down on her medication and had the deadly seizure. How horribly tragic! She was her mother's best friend. Wanda is holding on, but misses her terribly! I cannot imagine the loss!! I saw alot of people there that I haven't seen in ages. One was a woman that lives a few blocks away. We were laughing about our "aging". She is 9 years older than me and reminded me of the time she called 911 for a back pain. I was on duty and when we got there she apologized for her messy house, then wanted to walk to the ambulance because she was afraid she was too heavy for us, (we convinced her to get on the gurney) She then said I was taking her blood pressure in the back of the ambulance and I said "Oh my God"!! Well so much for reassuring the patient and calming them down!! HAHAHAHA we laughed at that one!!

Now I am getting the chores done for another work week ahead of me. It is supposed to be in the 90's again this next week so I baked some shake & bake BBQ chicken thighs to eat cold with a salad for dinners this week.
Well enough of my mindless blabber. I'm sure you are so excited about hearing about my weekend! Y'all have a marvelous week ahead!!

Well in the hour since this last post I started some fresh bluberry ice cream then watered my roses and tomato plants and sat and watched a robin jump around chasing the bugs, and watched my cat chatter at the Robin, then went inside and stripped my bed and changed the sheets, and now I am sitting here eating some fresh bluberry ice cream!!! NUM!!
Aint life goooood??!!
Dang that Oprah! She is evil!! She showed the Quisinart electric ice cream maker on her show and I had to run out and buy one right away!! It makes great ice cream and lime sorbet!! Being diabetic, I need to watch my sugar intake so buying this machine is really good for me because I use Spleda instead of sugar. But there just isn't any substitute for heavy cream. Oh well baby steps here.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Friday and the weekend ahead of us!

I came home today from work and fell into bed. I could not keep my eyes open! I napped for 2 hours, so now I know I will be awake most of the night! Oh well I got an energy boost this evening and cleaned the floors and kitchen and bathroom. All I need to do this weekend is the laundry! WooHoo!! Cleaning is so much easier now that I have the Laminate floors! I have a small Oreck carry along vaccuum cleaner and it picks up the stray kitty litter and dust devils, then I wet mop the floors with hot water and vinegar!
It finally rained today a little bit and we sure needed it! It is supposed to be nice again this week. We have been extremely lucky with our weather. But we did have two weeks of HOT temperatures that we don't like here.
I am through with my story, but will once in awhile post something that pops in my head. My life revolves around my sobriety now and I will post about it. I am not an "Anonymous" alcoholic. I believe in sharing what I have experienced in hopes it can touch someone that needs it.
Leslie asked about who founded Alcoholics Anonymous. Here is a site that has the history of Bill Wilson and his quest for sobriety in 1935. Click on Bill's Story and it will tell the history.
Well I need to go crochet a baby afghan!
Y'all have a great Saturday!!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

The Twelve Promises

After working the Twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous we keep working the program in every aspect of our lives. The basic principals are simple and very rewarding. In the “Big book of Alcoholics Anonymous” page 83 are the “Twelve Promises” .

1. If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through.
2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
4. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
6. That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear.
7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
8. Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us-sometimes quickly, sometimes sloooooowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

These promises have materialized in my life. After writing my story I can see how they have worked in my life and outlook. Many people have commented that I was an inspiration. I am not the inspiration, the basic principals of AA is! Without the program I would be a low life miserable unhappy drunk, more than likely dead by now. I love my life now and want to share my secrets and help those that need it!! I have gained self respect and can wake up (not come to) each morning with a clean conscience and look forward to a new day!
Life is goooood!!
Have a marvelous Friday and enjoy the Summer weekend!!

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Chapter 47...What my life is like now.

I am at a good balance in my life right now. People in my town know that I am an alcoholic and have been sober for 17 years now. I have had numerous calls in the night from people that need my help. I never turn my back on anyone that reaches out for help!
AA’s Responsibility Declaration is: I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.
I attend Alcoholics Anonymous regularly to help those that are struggling.
I have a great job, my family lives in the same town and we all love each other unconditionally. I have many friends from many different walks of life, I attend a great Church (Christ the King) and have a relationship with God now. My house is paid for (but not all my charge cards and my car). In five years I will be debt free I hope. Then I can start saving for the medications I’ll have to pay for when I retire. (bummer).

I am now working the 12 steps on my aging and health problems.
The first step is:
I admit I am powerless over (Aging & declining health), that my life had become unmanageable.

Okay, now let’s work on this. Yes I am powerless over aging, and my health had become unmanageable. Now that the shock is over, I can help myself by watching what I eat and try to exercise as much as I can. I know there are limitations, but that doesn’t mean I cannot exercise at all, it just means to do it at a slower pace and not over exert myself! Don’t look at the long term but look at it one day at a time. Accept the ailments and get off my pity pot! Look around and see others that are much worse off than I am and be thankful that the Good Lord gave me what I have! I mean really!! I have sore feet.....at least I have feet!!
Reach out to others that are not yet at this balance and try to help them through their hoops.
I am far from perfect and I certainly have my shortcomings. I try to make amends as I need to and get rid of resentments before they fester. When I am wrong I try to promptly admit it.
I pray nightly and say my thanks for the good life I have. I am so very lucky to live where I do and have the freedom I have. When I feel lonely or out of touch I pick up the phone and call a friend I have not seen in awhile. I have a list of names and numbers of gals that go to AA. If there is a new gal I make sure I introduce myself and make her feel welcome. I call her at odd times and let her know she is thought about. It is really important to make a person feel welcome when they come crawling through the doors of AA.Whew!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Chapter 46...1997-2001 My health!

About 1992 I began feeling tired all the time and losing energy. I have never been a sickly person, so it was different to live with. I would pull a muscle and it would hurt for about 8 months or so. I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and tested for Lupus. I was also tested for allergies. They found I was allergic to 28 of the 43 things they tested me for. The worst was dust mites, grasses, trees, dog, cat, cigarettes, mold, mildew & weeds.
They started me on a weekly series of allergen shots for 6 months then a shot a month for 2 years. I started gaining back the weight I lost and I was having other health problems. It seemed like every year there was a new “itis” that hit me! arthritis. Bursitis, diverticulitis, Irritable bowel syndrome (that’s fun!) whatever!! I was in pain and tired all the time!! I wasn’t ready for all this old person’s diseases!! I just discovered life and wanted to get the most out of it!!
I went to the doctor in 1994 with problems of night sweats and horrible female things and he told me I was peri-menopausal which meant I was approaching that golden age!! WHAT??!! Okay, so I am approaching the menopausal years!! Wahoo!!
I was getting ready for work one morning and was brushing my hair when an enormous rage hit me and I banged the brush against the counter and broke the brush, then I pulled all the drawers out and threw them and the contents all over the bathroom then went to work. All this without a tear!! I came home from work that day and saw the damage I did. I called the doctor and made an appointment. He asked if I was depressed and I started bawling!! He gave me some Zoloft (antidepressant) to take and it made the world a much better place for me and everyone around me!!
I fell while out walking one night and landed on both my knees! That hurt like heck and kept me from doing my walks for awhile. I was getting exhausted easily and was tired all the time. My back hurt a lot and I tried to exercise to get it stronger but it hurt worse when I exercised.
I quit the Fire Department Firefighting in 1997 because of my tiredness and all around health. They kept me on as medical responder and I was the Medical Program Coordinator for District 5. It opened up an avenue for people that wanted to be an EMT and First Responder without having to be a full fledged Firefighter. We have many more medical calls than fire calls. It gets old real easy when you get calls at 2am and 3 am for “chest pains” or “dizziness”. More than half the calls could be handled by the ambulance by itself but the Fire Department is paged out simultaneously with the ambulance. If there are no responders, it makes the Chief nervous so I tried to make as many calls as I could. It was effecting my work because I was losing sleep and overall it was effecting my health.
In September 2000 I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis and was almost put in the hospital. I talked the doctor out of the hospital stay and promised to take it easy. I asked for a leave of absence from the Fire Department and quit making calls. I was still exhausted and finding myself coming home from work and sitting in the recliner then waking up and going to bed, pulling myself out of bed pushing myself to work, trying to keep awake at work, etc etc. I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, and my heart would be pounding a mile a minute!! The doctor told me it was part of menopause. I would also wake up soaking wet with night sweats!!
I would wake up with Booboo my cat right at my face. She would be kissing me on the mouth!! I thought that was weird. I would wake up to Tlingit howling in the middle of the night and thought he was having doggie nightmares. I told a friend and she said that they were trying to wake me up because I quit breathing. I said WHAT??!! She said when she was camping with me she had to leave the trailer because of my snoring and stopping breathing!! I asked her why she didn’t tell me about it and she said she thought I knew! I asked my doctor and I was sent to Sedro Wooley for a sleep study. The test came back that I would quit breathing for at least 20 seconds at a time and quite a few times an hour. After two hours they came and put me on a CPAP machine and I slept through the night. I was told I had a severe case of sleep apnea and needed a CPAP machine at night to sleep. I obviously was not getting sleep when I thought I was. They told me that I was lucky I found it when I did. I could’ve died in the middle of the night of “natural causes”. They set the machine at 17. The machine only goes up to 19. They said they usually start people on a 6 or 7, so my case was severe. Whew!! I guess I’m lucky! It was really hard to get used to putting the nose mask on at night and breathing through my nose and not my mouth. It is not a sexy thing either! There goes my sex life!! But I am grateful that I have the health that I do. There are a whole lot of people a lot worse off than I am!!
I was diagnosed with Diabetes about four years ago! I eat completely different than my sister and we both have the disease. My doctor said there was no escaping it as it is on my father’s side of the family and they all had it. I have been on insulin for two years now and have gained an enormous amount of weight!! I gained 60 pounds as soon as they put me on insulin!! They said “Oh by the way, insulin will make you gain weight”.
SWELL!! Now I eat less and gain more! I cannot walk because of my breathing problems, and my back is worse. Catch 22!!
Two years ago I fell while walking. I was walking at a fast pace and fell flat on my face!! I fell really hard and hobbled back to my house about a mile away. About 2 months later I was nearly crippled. I could not get out of bed without screaming!! I was having severe lower back spasms. I was sent to specialists and they suggested a steroid shot so I had one in my neck. It helped for about a year then the pain returned. Eventually I will need an operation if it doesn’t get any better. I have degenerative disc disease in both my cervical and lumbar areas. I am trying to get on without the operation but I am afraid I might have to get it some day.
Well enough of the sicky stuff!! I wasn’t prepared for all the doctor stuff in my late 40’s and 50’s!! Now I need to learn to live with what I have and get on with my life!!
There is way too much to see and enjoy!! And I will do it sober!!
Tomorrow…..What my life is like now!!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Chapter 45...1996-1997

When dad got out of the hospital he went into a nursing home for about a month then moved back home. It got to where it was hard for him to live alone. Visiting nurses would go to his place three times a week to change the dressings on his feet. I would dole out his medications and fill his syringes, and pay his bills. His place was just too filthy to try to keep clean and he just didn’t try to keep it clean himself. They never did!! We persuaded dad to sell his place and move in with my sister. He put the place on the market and it sold. Dad took what he needed and then we held a huge garage sale and divided up what didn’t sell between us three kids. It was really hard selling the stuff that has been part of our family most of our lives. Someone would offer a quarter and I would grab it and say “I made that when I was in the third grade!!” I think he would’ve made more money if I wasn’t there to grab the stuff back!!
My dad was the original pack rat!! He had two pole barns full of JUNK!! He would pick stuff out of the dump and drag it home. He had a big wooden box of rusted together square nails. He planned on someday soaking them apart and using them to make something with. He had every fishing pole and reel he ever owned. Instead of throwing them away when they broke, they went into the round-tuit pile, but he just never got around to it!! He had old jars, boxes, tools, every National Geographic Magazine, encyclopedias, you name it!!
Dad would go to Bingo twice a week and to dialysis three times a week. I think living with Mary Lou was good for the both of them. My sister hates living alone and she is a nurturer. She would cook dad dinner and make his lunch for him to take to dialysis. I remember sitting at the table when dad was eating his dinner and he wasn’t eating his broccoli. I said “dad, eat your broccoli”. He said he didn’t like broccoli. I said eat your dang broccoli!! He looked at me scared like, and Mary Lou said “you made her sit at the table for hours making her eat asparagus, so you better eat your broccoli”!! he got mad but ate his broccoli!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (Be nice to your kids, they might be taking care of you one day!!)
November 7th a Paratransit driver went to pick dad up to take him to dialysis, but he wasn’t at the door. Dad’s dog was barking at the door from inside, so Chuck opened the door and found dad slumped over in his wheelchair. Chuck called the dispatcher and they called 911 and came and got me in my office. I ran to my sister’s house beating everyone there, and Chuck was performing CPR on dad. I took over the breaths and told Chuck he was doing a good job with compressions and told him to continue. I called my brother that lived down the street and he came up just as the Fire Department and Ambulance showed up. My good friend Alana was one of the Paramedics, and Don was the other one. My entire life was in that room!! My family, the Ambulance that I worked on, the Fire Department I was in, and the Paratransit driver that I trained!! In fact I taught him First Aid/CPR 6 months before. He was a wreck, the poor guy!! Here he is performing CPR on his boss’s dad!! Dad was pronounced dead at the ER. Mary Lou came from her work and met Mike and I at the ER. That was hard on us all!! We were now parentless. You think about this all your life but are never ready for it!!
Dad was only 77 years old.
They say that good things happen to those that stay sober, but bad things happen too!! The Holidays are approaching and we just lost our father!! I wanted a drink really bad but never made it an option. Some people say that since they came into Alcoholics Anonymous they have lost the desire to drink. Well goody for them! I haven’t lost my desire to drink. I loved to drink I love the taste, and I loved the effects (to a point). But I have never let it be an option for me. I know where I will end up if I picked up another drink and I don’t want to go there again!!
We had dad cremated and the day they cremated him I heard a fire call go out in Oak Harbor for a chimney fire at the Funeral Home where they cremated dad!! HAHAHAHA
Way to go, dad!! He was a Firefighter so he went out in style!! HAHAHAHA
We took dad’s ashes to the Peninsula just North of Port Angeles at Klahowya Campgrounds #35 at the Sol duc River. We took turns grabbing a handful of ashes and throwing them into the river. I went first and reached into the box and grabbed some ashes and was rather shocked that it felt warm and had the consistency of cat litter!! I tossed it towards the river and a gust of wind blew it right back to me!! That just does not happen in the movies!! Of course I got the giggles and started spitting onto the ground to get the ashes out of my mouth!! Then we all were laughing and crying. I think my brother was upset with me but I can’t help it. I have always laughed when it is not appropriate to!!
The Holidays came and went in a blur. 1997 rolled in and the start of a new year. I hate that hollow feeling you get when a loved one dies. The void. Guess what, it seems to get better but once in awhile it returns. I have had to stop myself reaching for the phone to call mom or dad. I miss them terribly, but I feel them with me a lot.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Chapter 44....Tlingit

It didn’t take long for Booboo and Tlingit to get along, but ER just never accepted the fact that another male entered the house, and a dog at that!! He came in to eat but growled at Tlingit whenever he got near! ER Didn’t want to come in the house when Tlingit was in, so he slept in the doghouse on the deck!! I tried to give ER his special attention but he just moped around for months! He had been acting sort of sick and one day I came home and found him dead in my spare room. It broke my heart to think that ER died feeling betrayed. I took him to a big old growth tree at work and buried him under it.
Back to that dog! When I brought Tlingit home he would go to the door and talk to me if he had to go do his business. Remember, I am a cat person, and a dog is just foreign to me. I never heard him bark, just a low talking like noise from his throat. I guess he took my rules seriously! I was at work one day and had Tlingit in the house because I did not have a fence yet, and didn’t want to tie him up out side. I got busy at work and ended up working a 12 hour shift. I got home and when I opened the door Tlingit was right at the door waiting. I got a whiff and knew he had deposited a surprise for me! It wasn’t his fault, I’m sure he held it as long as he could!! I looked around and couldn’t find it. Tlingit looked so ashamed of himself!! I felt so sorry for him. I went to the bathroom and there it was, right on the throw rug in front of the toilet!! Great!! I threw rug and all in the trash!! I have such a weak stomach that I gag thinking of picking up dog poop!!
On Saturday I took him to where I work and closed the gates and let him run free in the yard. I was in my office and he would come in and see me then run like heck. He was happy to run free!! I was sitting at my desk and realized it has been a while since I saw him, so I went outside and called him. No dog. I panicked and looked around and he was no where to be found! I saw a hole under the fence by the dispatch office. My heart sunk!! He dug under and escaped. I called the motel across the street and she said she saw him running by the trees heading to the Brown’s place. I called the Brown’s and he was there! I went there and she had called the dog catcher but I beat the dogcatcher there! Betty said the dog broke her rabbit cage and tore the tarp that was on the cage and her expensive rare black long haired rabbit escaped! The daughter said “no mom, he’s in the grass right there where he always runs to”!! I knew then that I was being used to get a new cage, rabbit and tarp. I took the cage to work and they fixed it for me, I bought her a new tarp and gave her $20.00 to buy her new rabbit. When I took the stuff to her I noticed a black rabbit and mentioned it, and she said oh, that is a new one!! Yeah, right! I hope she can live with herself for being so dishonest!!
On Sunday I took Tlingit to the Bus Barn where I work and closed all the gates and tossed a frisbee as far as I could, so he could get some running exercise. He ran to his hearts delight and ran right past the Frisbee clear to the end of the yard, dug a hole in 2 seconds flat and out to freedom he ran!! I was shocked and at the same time felt stupid, then I laughed, then I panicked!! I got in my Jeep and drove to Betty’s house and beat him there!! He got in the Jeep and looked at me as if to say, that was fun!!
I found out quick that Siberians are escape artists and love their freedom. We were a perfect match as I love my freedom too!!
When Tlingit was in the Jeep with me he would whimper if we passed some young teenage boys. I guessed that he must have been raised by a family with young boys. He was found running free by the Junior High School in Stanwood. I called the Vets in the town where I got Tlingit and found the vet that knew him. He couldn’t tell me any information about the family that used to have him but told me he was a two year old Husky/Malamute mix. His family had moved from the area, so I had him now. Tlingit was beautiful inside and out! He looked more like a wolf than a dog. He was black and white with brown in patches, his eyes were lined in black and his eyes were an icy light blue, almost white!! He would howl when left alone.
I was sitting at my computer one night and I opened an email that someone sent me that sounded like a dog/cat fight the dog barking and the cat screaming. Tlingit heard that and ran up to the computer and threw his head back and started howling!! He howled for about 15 minutes!! I laughed so hard I hurt!!
Tlingit never begged. He would lay right next to me when I ate watching every bite I took. His eyes would move, but his head lay on his paws. He could talk with his eyes and eyebrows!! If I offered him a bite he would get up and tenderly take it from my hand. I rarely eat pizza but one night I was eating some pizza and just threw the crust in the air and he caught it. He was like radar! He never begged but he would be there if anything dropped. I had the cleanest kitchen floor!!
Tlingit was a great camping buddy!! I tried letting him sleep in the camper but there was too much condensation from his heavy breathing (I seem to do that to guys). So I tied him up to the bumper of the trailer and he slept directly under the bed I slept on. He was my protector. After a few years we became soul mates. We could carry on conversations just by looking at each other and thinking it. He certainly was a character. I would walk to the local AA meeting and tie him up outside and I could hear him mournfully howling until I went back out to him. He was a great man magnet!!

Tomorrow, 1996