Monday, December 27, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Ruby Sue

It's a sad day at our house today. Our beloved Ruby of more than 15 years is gone. She was the best dog in the world. She was extremely smart and so good. She was loyal and loving beyond words...truly a best friend!

We feel good that she had a wonderful life. She was raised with three kids who adored her and parents who thought of her as a gift from God. We were so blessed to have had her in our lives for such a wonderfully long time.

Ruby 0508 003
Go to heaven now Ruby Girl. There will be no more pain. Be with God where you will be able to run like the wind again. Find all your brothers and sisters. Find George and Lucas. They will guide you home. We love you and we will miss you terribly. Someday, we will see you again baby girl.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

RIP Dear Dean I love you!

I have had so many unbelievable, life-changing miracles in my life that I am losing count. Because of these miracles, my faith is very strong. However, like Melody Ross mentioned in her recent blog post, sometimes you don't even realize you may have experienced a miracle until you take time to analyze the situation.

My most recent miracle came last week when my stepfather passed away unexpectedly. My mom and Dean have been together for more than 25 years and live in Northern California. He had surgery on Monday for a blocked artery in his pelvic area. He did fine in the surgery but afterwards, his blood pressure was low and his heart beat was irregular. Then the next day, his kidneys failed and his other organs began to shut down. Doctors did not know why other than to say he was a very sick man. On Wednesday morning he passed away with my mother and his son at his side.

He was a wonderful, sweet, gentle, very intelligent, lovely man who had been taking great care of my mother for many years, but most especially in recent years after the physical problems she has endured. The amount of care that he gave her was unmatched by anything I had ever witnessed. His unexpected death has left us reeling and unsure of the future for my mom.

The night before his surgery, I asked my mom to tell him that I love him and that I wished him good luck on his surgery. I told her that I didn’t want to make him come to the phone. She said, “I think you should speak to him.” (Maybe it was her unconscious premonition!)

I did speak to him and we talked for about 20 minutes and then we both said, “I love you.” That was the last thing my step dad and I said to each other. What a blessing for me…a gift from God.

As I thought about this, I realized that I have had three fathers in my life that I truly loved. Strangely, I received miracles at each of their deaths.

My previous stepfather who my mom was married to for more than 25 years was diagnosed with renal cancer and given six months to live. The day after receiving this information, I was in a major car accident. It was truly a miracle in itself that I lived. I was physically very broken and went through more than a year of operations and recovery. Because of this, I was not able to work.

During the last six months of my step dad’s life, I was able to spend a lot of time with him…time that I would not have had if I had been working. I was at his side when he took his last breath. I was positive of his love for me and mine for him. I had no guilt when he passed. I only had faith.

I know it may see odd that I would think of a car accident that I still, to this day, physically suffer from, as a miracle in my life. But it’s the only explanation I have for the love that I was able to share with my step dad in his last days. To be able to kiss him and tell him, “I love you” right before he passed was such a gift to me…one that I will always appreciate.

My biological father died when I was in my 30’s. My mother had been married to him for ten years and my stepmother was married to him a year after the divorce until he died. I hadn’t seen him for about a year. Out of the blue, my step mom called me because she was worried about him. I went over to see him and he was sitting in a chair. I could tell he was sick and maybe not sure of who I was…I thought. I went to him and held his face in my hands and kissed him on the cheek and said, “I love you daddy.” He said, “I love you too Kat.” Three days later, he died in his sleep. Oh my Heaven, that was such a gift from God. I didn’t even know he was sick and I hadn’t seen him in so long…because of a disagreement and pride. As soon as my step mom called me and told me he had passed I knew what God had done for me and for him.

My father had been an attorney in San Diego for more than forty years. Several weeks after his passing, my family was having a life celebration for him. I happened to be in court on that day on a financial situation. I had my four-year old daughter with me because we were going to go to grandpa’s funeral after we took care of the court business. It started to get late and I wasn’t being called. I went over to my lawyer and explained who my dad was and what the situation was and that I might need to leave. He knew my dad and was stunned that he had passed away. He spoke to the judge. The next thing I knew it was my turn before the judge. Turns out he knew my dad also. As my little girl and I stood hand in hand before him, he literally gave my dad a eulogy right there in the court room. Other lawyers and clerks had come into the courtroom and were standing along the wall beside and behind the bench. Some were crying. The judge discussed my dad for about ten minutes. He talked about my dad’s expert contribution to law and how respected he was and much he had actually taught the court. The judge honored my father in a way that I would have missed all together had I not been in the right place at the right time. No one wants to be in court, but if I hadn't been there, and if I hadn't been there on that day, I would not have received that unbelievable moment in my life that meant more to me than I can ever express. A miracle for me! I was in shock. I floated out of that court room in God’s arms.

While I have lost all three of my father figures and while our relationships were not always blissful, I am happy to have had them in my life and I am blessed to have loved them and to have been loved by them. And I thank God for His unwavering guidance.

Thanks to Melody for inspiring to write this article about my own life experience and to take the time to realize the miracle.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Seaside Soiree and Charity Wings

For three days I was in absolute Seaside Soiree sensory euphoria.

In fact, even the last few days of reflection on my weekend are only now just beginning to be infiltrated by the reality of chores, grocery know, the real life stuff.

The first annual Seaside Soiree was like being at an incredible entertainment park with some of my favorite people. My mind was empty of everything but having fun.

Everywhere we looked, everywhere we turned, there was something amazing going on including, making new fabulous friends and spending time with some of our favorite friends.

The classes were like being on a wild ride.

The teachers who, in my opinion, are some of the best included, Liz Hicks, Suzi Blu, Miss Vicki Breslin, Alisa Burke, Michelle Cummings and Melody Ross.

We made paintings, royal princess beaded crowns, sea shelled frames, stamped journal books, painted canvas purses and more.

Like fairy princesses, Elena, Sheila and the wonderful Charity Wings fairies gave us gifts throughout the entire event. Every class included gifts. Every time we went to bed, we had gifts on our beautiful tye dyed pillow. Actually, I should have brought an extra suitcase for all my projects and presents.

We stayed at the Oceanside Marina Suites, which was located right on the harbor. The accommodations included 2 bedroom, 2 bath suites that were literally 15 feet from the water.

Oceanside, California in the winter.

The view right outside our suite.

A man and his bird.

Harbor...we could hear the fog horn at night. So peaceful here.

Sally and Georgia

Living room in our suite

Kitchen in our suite.

Best picture of the night, Alicia and Kathryn having fun.

Me and my friend.

Elena and Jessie being cute! Awe Ha

Miss Vicki, Suzi and Maryanne

Miss Vicki and her baubles and bangles

Elena, Miss Vicki and Alicia telling secrets in our room.

Elena's birthday present from Kelly.

Hangin' with my good friend Sally.

Kat, Amy and Glenna at sunset.

Roommates, Miss Vicki and Camille

Princess Elena provided us with bacon so that every morning we could wake up to the smells and sounds of bacon cooking.

CSS Book club friends, Cynthia, Kat, Alicia, Kathryn

Crown time.

Danette & Kat

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Out of the Box Book Club at Urban Barn

Here we are at the Urban Barn in Escondido. What a fun backdrop for our Out of the Box Book Club. The Urban Barn is an incredibly inspiring, artsy, consignment store. It is very vintage and a true experience. Next weekend, they are having their monthly Street Faire, which is a real treat and a great place to buy gifts.

Tonight we celebrated the holidays with hord'oeuvres, desserts and a white elephant exchange. The only criteria for our exchange is that it must be handmade with love. Everyone rose to the occasion and we had a blast.

Glenna, Pam, Kat, Elena, Nancy, Ivy, Sheila, Maureen

Elena multi-tasking as usual

Linda, Urban Barn Owner and Donna

Nancy went home with one of Elena's gorgeous buttons and baubles bracelet

Danette was so happy with the little girl, made by Nancy. The sad face is because she only got to keep her for minutes. It seems that in a white elephant exchange, you can steal other already opened gifts. And, that's just what Glenna did. Awe, poor Danette!

Ooops! Another robber came along and stole the little girl from Glenna.
Awe ha...Guess who went home with the little girl!