Sunday, May 30, 2010

I Wasn't Kidding

The floors are done, but the house still is a mess. I have a long way to go before all the furniture is put back where is belongs. Speaking of furniture, the one you are seeing in this pic, is on its way out. There is the option of refurbishing those bumps and grinds that occur over the course of time. It can save me a pretty penny if I take that route. I'm still, for the most part, undecided.

The new kitchen. Pardon my dust. As you can see, I have to clean it from all the dust generated by the removal of the old counter top. There is even a screw driver on it from all the activity happening to the right of it.

New energy efficient windows (is that the correct term?)

These are new as well. The patch-up you see on the wall is the result of a new kitchen sink and plumbing that I'm putting on the other side. It will, of course, be fixed properly and meticulously. But that is for the outside renovation, I'm still working on the inside.

Out with the old, in with the new. The old counter top has been dumped. In it's place will be a granite surface with new sink.

My pool. Next to it is the sofa that will join the sink and the carpet. On top of the sofa are clothes I had to remove from a closet somewhat abruptly. They'll probably not go back in there again. And yes, the pool deck I have to mend as well. Here in Vegas, and I suppose in many other places as well, their is subtle seismic activity that over time creates cracks in the decking. That and the unforgiving heat. In the background, you can see that my neighbor is doing his share or renovations as well.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Prayers for Toby. Busy.

I'm in the process of getting my house painted, and at the same time, in another part that is already painted, I'm putting in tiles on the floor (bye, bye carpet!). This is the second week that I spend time working on this and there is much more to go.

I took Toby to get groomed this morning (as EVERYTHING else was taking place) when I got a call from the groomer telling me he could not be shaved. Apparently, he was being very combative, so they put a muzzle on him that also covered his eyes. The groomer then told me he might have had a seizure, since he stiffened up and his tongue turned blue. I rushed him to the vet where he is in the process of getting check out as I write this (BTW, they couldn't draw blood because he fought both the doctor and the technicians. Subsequently, they had to sedate him to run the tests).

I'm being selfish, but if you can, could you say a prayer for Toby and for a peaceful solution the phenomenal mess I'm in right now? Thank you and God bless!

I meant to visit the blogs of some of my dear blogger pals, but as described above, EVERYTHING is hitting at once (other stuff I'm not mentioning).


I brought Toby back from the vet yesterday afternoon, after being sedated so the doctor could perform blood work on him. Toby, before sedation, was very unruly and combative with the medical team, so he had to be asleep for the procedure. Tomorrow (Monday) I may have the full results of the blood work.

This afternoon, he vomited just as I was about to give him his chow. The doctor instructed me to give him just a spoonful of food, and see how he reacts. If all is well after a short while, I can give him a little more.

All ways something, isn't it? That's life, however.

THANK YOU for keeping us in your prayers! Remember us, please, next time you pray.


Thursday, May 13, 2010


I was just reading in the news that the son of the late actress Dana Plato, Tyler Lambert, committed suicide on May 6th of this year. Almost 11 years to the day in which his mother died of a drug overdose. He was only 25 years old. This got me thinking about the multiple tragedies that characterize the lives of crestfallen celebrities. Many child stars, like Dana Plato, begin their careers at an age when most children are thinking about school and playmates, not contracts and maintaining a public image. When their careers begin to plateau, that's when the trouble starts. In Plato's case, she had reduced herself to committing armed robbery, engaged in drug abuse, and starred in softcore pornographic films.

The deaths of Dana Plato and her son Tyler Lambert, are analogous to the tragic deaths of Anna Nicole Smith and her son Daniel Smith. Both situations (Plato/ Lambert; Smith/Smith) involved individuals who wanted more than what life could give them, and all of the individuals involved died young, some while possessed by addiction.

As a child, I remember watching Different Strokes, and thinking to myself just how beautiful Dana Plato was. Those big, dazzling eyes, freckled cheeks, and a mouth that seemed to smile even when serious were just some of the things this puberty-bound boy became enamored with when her image appeared on my television set. How undeserving of any human being to spiral to an early grave the way she did.

For the Ones Who Died by Suicide

God, lover of souls, You hold dear what You have made and spare all things, for they are Yours. Look gently upon those who have taken their own lives, and by the Blood of the cross, forgive their sins and failings. Remember the faith of those who mourn and satisfy their longing for that day when all will be made new again in Christ, our risen Lord, who lives and reigns with You forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Betty White on SNL (For Adults Only)

The venerable Betty White (88 years old) shows that older folks can make younger audiences laugh till they bust a gut.

This is the link to the video on

Happy Mother's Day

A Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there who have patiently, and through very difficult times, given us your unconditional love. God bless you immensely!

And a BIG Happy Mother's Day to the most beautiful and sweetest supermom I know...MY mom!

God bless all the moms everyday of the year!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life

One of the best jazz arrangements of this song ever. Don't ask me why, but it reminds me of a drive on a warm summer night through New England.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hospital Volunteer Stuff

Hospital Dynamics

I volunteer at a local Catholic hospital here in Las Vegas. The unit I've been assigned used to specialize in joint replacement, but now accepts adult patients who are dealing with every malady known to medicine. I hate to admit this, but when I first started volunteering, I felt an almost debilitating fear when I had to address the patients face-to-face. I was afraid of making them unhappy by denying them fluids after they requested it during a period in which they weren't allowed any (typically, when you're going into surgery or are having tests, doctors placed you in an NPO status: "Nulla Per Os" which means "Nothing by mouth") or by informing them that their nurse was busy with another patient, therefore would be a few minutes longer in bringing them their medication. These things I know happen, and NOT because I or any of the staff was either negligent or apathetic. It's considered sound medical operation to deny patients food and water before surgery or medical tests because anesthetics can cause nausea and create a very perilous condition for the patient. Nurses are VERY busy. Taking care of people in a hospital comes with a slew of paperwork, verifications, and a mess of procedural requirements that must be followed before administering any medications. This means that as they're taking care of one patient, simultaneously another patient may develop a need to see her or him.

The Patients

Needless to say, all types of people come and go in a hospital. One of the more memorable individuals was an elderly lady who (poor thing) would speak in indiscernible sounds. I would say a quick prayer just before walking into her room, hoping that when she spoke her jumbled words that at least I would be able to understand what she needed. Unfortunately, it was impossible. Her meshed words were completely inscrutable. I even tried reading her gestures to make out the gist of her concerns. I would later learn from one of the nurses that this poor lady was disoriented and confused about her surroundings. Despite her inability to communicate - which presents another medical problem for the nurses and doctors - I stayed by her side until she was finished saying what she had to say. I told her I understood, and would get back to her as soon as I could (what else could I say?)

Last week I had to apply my signature to a document that stated I had witnessed a patient sign a paper that transferred power of attorney to one of her family members. This was done at the request of the patient, and was overseen by the hospital chaplain. This made me very sad, since it gave me the impression the patient was preparing herself for the worst. She was young, and looked healthier than most people you see in a hospital.

A month or two ago a man came into our unit after undergoing back surgery for a herniated spinal disk. The man was in excruciating agony, and was taking a very powerful medication to diminish the pain on his back. What was his reaction when jolted by the pain in his spine? He would erupt into uncontrollable laughter. It was the oddest most inappropriate combination of laughter and pain that I had ever seen in my life. This man would have tears running down his cheeks, but was it from the pain on his back or from the laughter or was it from both?

In conclusion, I find a sense of solidarity with people who suffer, and a hospital is a unique place where that type of fellowship can be experienced. Perhaps what brings me closer to those broken people (both patient and loved-ones) that I meet there is my own fragility and brokenness. There is something Christ-like about people who are broken both physically and mentally, yet I can't definitively say what it is, but I know it's there. I also know that someday something beautiful will come from all the suffering and the loss.

I like this hospital. Most of the nurses I've come across are solid professionals who have humanity and compassion for the patients entrusted to them. If ever I found myself as a patient there, I would find a great measure of peace knowing that dedicated individuals like them were charged with my welfare.