This is a new friend of mine who brings so much joy into my life. He's not mine, but lives close by and he and I are becoming best friends. He is a rescue dog, so he does have his issues, but how could you not love a face like that?
Having gone over a year without a television, I am watching it more now, than ever before in my life. My favorite show is Iron Chef, on the Food Network Channel. Not only do I have TV, I also have cable. I still don't watch prime time shows other than the Office, but I find myself vacillating between CNN, MSNBC and Food Network. I don't know if I've become a better cook because of it, but I sure am hungry and eat more often. When I cook, I secretly pretend that I am right there in Kitchen Stadium, and I try to come up with a dish that hits one out of the park. I have been more inventive, but lets face it, those guys have access to every ingredient known to mankind. I doubt I have caviar, chunks of fillet, salmon and vanilla beans in my cupboards. Not to mention the tons of butter they infiltrate into every dish. Seriously, what doesn't taste good with a stick of butter in it?
Speaking of kitchens, I was at a friends' yesterday, opened her crowded refrigerator and had a glass jar of jalapenos fall on my toe. I now have a broken big toe, and there is nothing they can do except wrap it, according to her husband who is a doctor. Tomorrow I will limp my sorry self in to see my oncologist, and ask myself, what next?
I have always had a thing for butterflies so I decided to make this wall hanging to cheer me up and add some brightness to my life. I got carried away and made this mobile also. Bright colors are therapeutic for me and it makes me happy to be surrounded by the simple things in life that add so much joy. The fact that I am actually wanting to do art again, is huge.
I am so proud of my daughter and the work she is doing for the community. After college, she took the compassionate route, and has been doing wonderful things in helping people get their lives back on track. She met Father Greg Boyle and has been working for him in Homeboy Industries for a few years now. She is a big part of Home Girl Cafe, which serves some of the best Mexican food in all of Los Angeles.
Here is a clip from the local news on Friday night. My daughter is the spokesperson, and I am impressed how well she does in front of the camera. I guess when you believe in something, you go to any length. She is doing what she loves, helping people and working around food all day. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. I know now more than ever, that hope is the greatest gift you can give to another human being.
Tonight I watched the season opener of Pro Football, and was delighted
that it was being played in my hometown of Pittsburgh with my favorite team, the Steelers. To my delight it started with the Black Eyed Peas performing live on stage at Point State Park, with the city of Pittsburgh shining in the background. Tim McGrawl also performed but without his better half, Faith Hill.
The main attraction Steelers vs. the Titans, was kind of a disappointment. It was a very boring game and the Steelers running game was horrendous, along with way too many blitz's of Roethlisberger. One of the announcers referred to it as Blitzburg. But as my sister said, a win is a win.
Pittsburgh was a fun city to grow up in despite the poor air quality from the steel mills.Where else could you see fireworks every night of the week from the blast furnaces that made up so much of the landscape? We had our fair share of rivers, better to look at than to swim in, and more than our share of snow. We're talking lots of snow. From October to April with many snow days where the schools were closed. Lots of ice skating, sled riding and hitching rides on the back of cars on icy roads.
Texas has nothing on Pennsylvania when it comes to Friday Night Lights. Football is king, and no wonder I grew up loving it. My dad took me to games from the time I was five and I knew he loved me, when I watched a Pitt or Steeler game with him. If he couldn't have sons, by damn, his daughters were going to know about football.
It was fun being a teenager and not having to depend on drugs or alcohol to have a good time. We loved to dance and there were public dances Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with dancing to the Golden Oldies. Sunday was especially exciting, because of the Blue Laws, night clubs were closed and one was converted into a teen night without the alcohol. How cool to be able to go to a night club while still in high school. It sure beat the American Legion Hall (which was a blast in itself).
It's hard to go home again when you no longer have the home or parents to return to. But I have the memories that will live with me forever. Today was my second round of chemo, and how appropriate I take a trip down memory lane.
Today was the celebration of the Santa Monica Pier turning 100 years old and it culminated with an elaborate fireworks show at sundown. It was great to see so many families enjoying the festivities. Luckily I live half a block from Palisades Park, so we just walked down, spread out a blanket and joined all the others for an excuse to picnic during the week. It was a beautiful evening and a chance for me to get out and forget for a short time, that I have my second round of chemo tomorrow morning. Thank you Santa Monica. One more reason you make me happy I live here.
1. Football season has started and I couldn't be happier. Most women don't like football, but I live for it. Hopefully my teams will do well this year, especially Notre Dame. Don't know if the Steelers will win another Super Bowl, but they will be good.2. UCLA's Reflections Boutique where I bought two wigs today. The staff couldn't have been more helpful or compassionate. Actually the wigs aren't too bad, but are not the most comfortable things to wear in this heat wave we are currently having.
3. Beautiful beach weather and the fact that most of the tourists have cleared out of Santa Monica.
4. 100th Birthday celebration for the Santa Monica Pier tomorrow, with a huge fireworks show at 9 o'clock.
5. Presents, cards, flowers and good wishes from friends and family.
I am so lucky to have friends who have a fabulous beach house and are the most caring, generous people to walk the face of the earth. Friends who don't care that my hair is falling out and I am not in the best of spirits. Young children all around who don't seem to know the difference. An ocean that keeps on sending waves, not skipping a beat. Food that is so comforting, I have a hard time putting down my fork. Memories that will stay with me and lift me up, on the long road ahead.
It seems that all I am doing lately is running - running from the truth, running from reality, and sprinting from sadness. If I stop for too long, I am attacked by the negativity that dwells in my head. I don't know how much longer I can keep up this pace, as my body and mind are starting to show the effects of chemotherapy, and the disease I can no longer deny. I have to keep laughing and playing, loving and being loved, caring and being cared for, but most of all, fighting like I have never fought before. All I have is the present moment. From this I have to extract all the bliss I can, for it is this bliss that fuels me towards a new day. No time for resentments. No time for guilt. No time for people who don't contribute to my savings account for hope. No time for anger. All these things are energy exterminators, and I don't have time to waste.
So You Think You Can Dance has become my favorite guilty pleasure and I am looking forward to the new season next week. I saw tonight's recap of the last five seasons and this dance brought a few tears to my eyes. This stirring tribute to breast cancer patients around the world, was choreographed by Tyce Diorio in honor of a friend of his who is battling the disease. It was performed by my two favorites, Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi. Although they didn't win, they will always be remembered for this emotional, contemporary dance, portraying the message of what cancer patients and their loved ones go through. I can't tell you how uplifting it is for me to watch, and I hope that this stays up for a while, as they keep removing it from You Tube because of copyright issues. Here is another version that shows the emotional reactions of the judges, including Ellen DeGeneres.
Here we go again. While most of the country is preparing forAutumn and the changing of the leaves, we here in southern California are watching them burn. There are at least five fires burning simultaneously, and the air quality is so bad you can see it, taste it and smell it without even going out of the house.
I did go to the beach tonight for dinner where it wasn't quite as bad. No matter how terrible things get, I am so content that I live in Southern California and count my blessings every day.