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While reflecting on the real reason we are celebrating with a three-day weekend, I remembered some pretty incredible Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) who participated in the wars.

One such Yorkie who was called Smokey, served two years active duty in the Asiatic and Pacific in WW2. She was found in a foxhole when she was a little over a year old.  Even though the war was  scary place for Smokey,she lived through 150 air raids and was a crew member on 12 air-sea rescues and never got motion sickness.  Her true service came when she was asked to take a wire through a seventh foot long pipe that was under an airstrip. Her owner Bill, knew in his heart, that she could do it. She was smart and definitely the right size as the pipe was only eight inches high. However the pipe had mold in it and in some places mud partially closed the pipe to about four inches.  Both Bill and Smokey were a little more than apprehensive.

As a trial run, Bill tied a string to her and pointed her into the pipe. He then went to the other end and called out for her to come.  Smokey headed through the pipe only to have the string get hung up once, but then was able to release it to keep going.  Finally Bill saw the gleam of her eyes and called her name and she ran the last 15 feet.

Smokey ate C-rations and took vitamins. Bill’s helmet was her bathtub. She traveled over 40,000 miles in her lifetime and lived a full and rewarding life with her best friend Bill.

My dad was stationed in France for part of his tour and he used to tell me that the French army used Yorkies to deliver messages.

Yes the Yorkie is not just another pretty face or fluffy lap dog.  They have the heart of a lion and the soul of a wolf!  Both my Chloe and Bella gave years of service visiting hospice patients and their families.  To quote my favorite commercial:

“You’re my buddy, my pal, my friend ……..and we’ll be that way til the end.  Wherever we go I want you to know………you’re my buddy, my pal, my friend.”

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend – remembering those those who have fought to protect us so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have and those who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their life for it all .

Until next time……..

Because so many people have been asking me how I am doing since I decided to eliminate Aspartame from my life …….it’s nineteen days and going strong (more ways than one)!

Nineteen days ago this 66 year old was weak and sore all over. At times I walked slightly hunched over and couldn’t stand up to cook over 2 or three minutes.  I used whatever help was around to pull myself out of a chair and I couldn’t sleep curled up anymore because if I were in that position too long, it would hurt to straighten my legs out.  Now all of that has changed.

Fortunately or not so, I think I will still be able to predict the weather with my knees as they are bad and will need some attention someday. However, to be able to stand and do my morning primping without discomfort, or to cook a meal and not have to sit down and rest every couple of minutes is a MAJOR breakthrough and a cause to celebrate.

Aspartame poisoning is real folks!!! Don’t doubt it for a minute. Do I miss Diet Coke?  Only until I get up and walk around, then the missing goes away quickly!

Here is to good health and being Aspartame free!

Until next time……

 

For the last 9 days I have been doing an experiment with me. If you are a regular follower you know that I am afflicted with an auto immune disease that may or may not end up in MS. Those of you that have seen me (especially throughout the winter) have noticed at times I can barely walk. My daily diet consisted of Tylenol as the first course just to get me moving in the morning Diet Coke.  The fear of what might be coming had nightmares haunting me regularly.

Over the last year, on several occasions, I have received on my Facebook page, articles regarding Diet Coke and Aspartame poisoning. I have read them with great interest and then said to heck with it, I am not giving up Diet Coke. How do I know it’s true? Well I received another one of those articles last week and it had someone’s blog connected to it and so I went to it to read her story. It sounded like I was reading my own tale. Time for me to do my own investigation.

Nine days ago I quit drinking Diet Coke. I have to admit to you that for me this was harder than quitting smoking. By days 2 and 3 and part of 4 there were withdrawal symptoms.  I had headaches, I couldn’t sleep, day three I even had the shakes.  But even through the withdrawals, I could feel the pain and stiffness in my body going away. Yes I have bad knees. The are damaged from skiing and very arthritic so that will always be there. However, getting in and out of a chair – no problem. Getting in and out of the car – no problem.  Walking, bending………NO PROBLEM! Does this mean I won’t be able to predict the weather anymore by the degree of stiffness and pain I was in?

Yesterday there was a wee bit of stiffness but nothing that required Tylenol or slowed me down.  I am sure it is going to take some time to get this poison all out of my system.  I am not going into all the specifics here as you can Google Aspartame Poisoning and read lots of articles.  I will just tell you that when Diet Coke or anything else with aspartame is stored above a certain temperature, the aspartame turns to formaldehyde and you get enough of it in your system through regular drinking you are inviting many undesirable side effects. Side effects that can greatly alter your quality of life. It can cause seizures, brain damage and symptoms very similar to MS and Fibromyalgia  just for starters. Many people have been misdiagnosed  only to quit products containing aspartame  and after a period of time were symptom free.

So that is what I have been up to this new year of 2016.  There is no more Diet Coke in my home or anything else with aspartame. On diet products in the future I will read every label. Maybe when Spring comes I can start walking some distance again. I sure hope so!

Until next time…….

 

Many of you have heard me say at one time or another……”no animal has ever hurt me like people have.” Sadly my friends, it is very true.  Why do people set out to deliberately hurt one another – either emotionally or physically? I am not saying I am innocent of this by any means. There have been times I wished I could have bit my tongue clear off, instead of saying what I have said to someone.  Remember folks,  once it leaves the lips, you can’t take it back.  It is there hanging over you for all time.

Take for instance the people currently seeking a nomination to represent their party to run for President.  Do we really want any of these “loose cannons” with their back alley vocabulary representing us in negotiations for peace or anything else? I certainly don’t.  These people scare me, some more than others. But unless we get people to take off their “blinders” and start looking at the whole big picture with 20-20 vision and some good old fashioned horse sense, we are going to be in big trouble.

In a few hours it will be 2016 and we will be bringing 2015 baggage with us to the new year. Let’s see…..there’s the political race, Isis and terrorist threats, leadership that is less than adequate, and I am not just referring to one person.  We have many homeless and hungry people that we seem to not have money for but yet we are being asked to take in immigrants and roll out the red carpet for them. I think not!  Let’s take care of our own first and that includes our veterans. Let’s respect and thank our police, fire department and armed forces for keeping us safe on a daily basis. Until we get back to being whole and good again, we have no business bringing anyone else into this country.

Well folks I have a big year ahead for me and Bella.  I ask for your prayers and God’s help to keep me strong so that I can get through the rough stuff and find the peace when its over, that I think I will have.  As I close this post for 2015 I want to thank you for following me and I want to leave you with the following: My mom’s favorite song was Let There Be Peace On Earth.  The first line is “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me”……… think about it.

Happy New Year everyone from Bella and me!

Until next time……..

I say not so happy because John died way before his time and today is the 35th anniversary of John Lennon’s death.  For me to find this out is ironic as I heard a song of his earlier this week that gave me quite the motivation to write. Some know the song as So This Is Christmas or Merry Christmas. The real name of the song is War Is Over. 

John sings the song and is talking about what we may or may not have accomplished this year as far as treating one another with kindness, material things,  accepting our differences in race, color and religion. When he goes into the chorus there is a children’s choir in the background singing almost as a subliminal message …….War is over, if you want it.  It’s on YOUTUBE.  Listen to it, read the words. It is a very powerful song with an equally powerful message. Think about it…….if every, breathing human being in     the world truly wanted peace….it could happen.  I doubt it happens in my lifetime but maybe in generations to come.

I don’t know whether we could call John a visionary as he just wanted what we all of that generation wanted……peace.  For a good many of our generation, our fathers had been in WWII and with Vietnam in full boil we were watching out brothers and boyfriends and husbands putting themselves in harms way to defend our country and protect us and our freedom. It wasn’t suppose to be a “real war” just a police action. Ask some of our veterans that came home and see what they tell you.  Another song that John came out with at this time Give Peace A Chance (all we are saying is……).  It was sung at every peace rally and protest march. What a time we lived in and witnessed in the late 1960’s.

With 2015 coming to a close in a few short weeks, I have one wish for all of us……..I wish us peace in 2016.  Whether is peace on earth or peace within ourselves and family.  There are those of us who are fighting wars within themselves be it health, financial or family. I pray that God will give them whatever it is they need to have lasting peace within.

Until next time………John Lennon, you are missed!

When you live next door to people and become close friends, you get to know some of their habits.  As with my current neighbors…….I have observed that every Monday, Wednesday and Friday he would be sure to clean up after the his dog.  Our garbage pick up is Friday afternoon and this way he could dispose of all of it for the week and usually are lawns were mowed on Wednesday so he would have it cleaned up so they would not have to mow in it. Also, he would check the hanging flower baskets and gardens on Mondays and Fridays, unless it was a particular dry time and he would check additionally. I know this because he would tell me I water mine too often and this would bring on great debate in a humorous way.

Thursday morning  I noticed his garbage was already on the curb. I found that very strange because normally he put his out before dinner on Thursday, or even waited until Friday morning. I also watched him clean up after the dog and check the flowering baskets. He really looked like a man on a mission. If I didn’t know better I would say he was getting ready to leave on a trip. It was like he was taking care of things so his wife would not have to worry about it. I feel on some level of consciousness, he knew what was ahead.

At lunch, that same day he had a massive stroke.  He passed away in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday.

Through the years of my hospice affiliation I have always felt that somehow my patients got advanced warning from their higher power.  When my mom was starting to transition she would tell me about this reoccurring dream she was having. She said our family was  on an airplane headed somewhere on vacation and when the plane landed, she was the only one who got off the plane.  I would ask her what day that was.  She would say it was on a Monday.  The last time I talked to her was Sunday night. I had to go home as I always did, to take care of my elderly dad. I kissed her goodbye and told her I would be back Monday morning as always.  She looked at me and told me I didn’t have to come back on Monday.  There was a couple of other personal comments amidst the discussion, but I told her I WOULD be back Monday morning.

I know now that she indeed knew she was departing her life on Monday and she was trying to protect me from have to see her go.  She died that Monday night 10/25/99 at 10:25 p.m.

Yes it is more than possible. I do believe the dying know when they are going on some level.  Whether it comes to them as some kind of “A ha!” moment, however I cannot see it being quite that dramatic,but if we listen closely and watch them, I think if they are able to communicate at all, they tell us, they know.

So now I say goodbye to you my dear neighbor. You have been so much fun to know and I appreciate all of your advice and help you have given to me. Say hi and hug Chloe for me.

Until next time…….

Every time football season comes around, I invariably get at least one person that asks me why I am so loyal, vocal, and down-right faithful to the Georgia Bulldogs football team even though I live in the midst of the Midwest, Illinois to be specific.  Fasten your seat belts folks because I am going to explain.

In June of 1972 I walked out of my place of employment in Rockford, Illinois and went home to announce I was leaving for Atlanta,Georgia just as soon as I could get a flight.  I had to do it in just that manner or it never would have happened….and that is another story.  For this post …….I moved to Atlanta……done.

Now I quickly learned that in Georgia you either went to Univ. of Georgia in Athens, Ga. or Georgia Tech in Atlanta. There were other schools but no one ever mentioned them.  The first eight out of ten guys that I  met were good ol’ Univ. of Ga. (UGGA) graduates.  The next thing I learned was if you didn’t like football, you had better either move back north or don’t count on seeing your boyfriend until football season was over. Fortunately for me…….I loved football and the Georgia Bulldogs.  I loved going to their games in Athens.  I loved the UGGA campus. The whole experience  gave me a sense of the way of life I had been craving.  I truly was a southerner at heart.

Long about year #2, my dad came up with the thought…..why didn’t I enroll in school there and finally get my college degree?  Here was that fork in the road. Which way was I to go?  College life or life as usual? I didn’t go to college after high school for a reason…..FEAR, plain and simple. I had been bullied from 5th grade through high school by the same person.  If you have read one of my earlier blogs you will find out that I had also been raped and beaten my senior year.  There was no one on this earth that could convince me that if I went to college, that I wouldn’t be getting four more years of bullying. No, maybe it wouldn’t be the same guy, but the cause of the bullying would still be apparent and someone else might start in. I just couldn’t do it….I just couldn’t.  I wanted peace in my life and true happiness.

Some 41 years later, I can tell you now that I took the wrong fork in the road.  What is done, is done. No going back ….only forward.  But to this day my heart and loyalty is with UGGA. “I’m Bulldog born and Bulldog bred….and when I die I’m Bulldog dead!”

While in the south  (8 1/2 yrs) I learned to love Nascar, hushpuppies, grits, the Confederate flag, and pick up trucks. It is a different way of life, a different way of eating, and just a different way of doing.  But I can tell you all right now, in those immortal words of my late friend (a true southerner, author entertainer and columnist) Lewis Grizzard, “no true southerner would be caught dead leaving the south during football season”. And that is gospel!

And with that I say good night until next time……..