Friday, September 30, 2011


I know I've been absent lately, but things have happened and I haven't been able to post on my semi-regular basis. More about that later.

Around six or seven years ago, I found an old childhood friend's E-mail address on our high school's alumni site. Brigid and I had known each other a long time. We were in Brownies together and I believe we actually met for the first time in Kindergarten. That would make it around 60 years that I've known her. We even played Ginny dolls together. In fact, Brigid wanted a Ginny doll so badly and went snooping around the house before Christmas one year and found the Ginny doll her mother had bought. She would play with it in secret and then wrap it back up before her mother got home from work. On Christmas morning she acted surprised when she opened the package.

This is Brigid probably around the time we met. She's on the left...

Since Junior High she has called me Durg and I've called her Boh. For some reason we called each other by the first few letters of our last names. I can no longer recall how that happened, but when we reconnected we picked up right where we had left off. I was Durg and she was Boh.

Brigid was the class clown all through school. She had a very quick wit and I can remember laughing so hard my sides would hurt. We fooled around way too much and neither of us were very good students. However, whenever the teacher would try to catch us by asking a relevant question about what we were supposed to be studying Brigid would always know the answer. The teacher could never catch her. She was so smart. Sometimes we would have to stop her in mid conversation to have her tell us what a particular word meant. She had quite a vocabulary. To say she was an under achiever is putting it mildly.

At the end of our Junior year Brigid announced that she wanted to go to college. She went to the guidance counselor and asked to be allowed to repeat her Junior year. We all thought she was crazy. "Come on Brigid, stay with us and graduate next year." No, Brigid had made up her mind. She always thought everything through and she knew this was what she wanted. So, she ended up graduating in 1965 instead of 1964.

I know I posted this picture not too long ago. This was one of our many excursions to the Jersey Shore and Brigid is the one in the middle. Poor Boh...she had red hair and very white skin. If she wasn't covered up she'd burn to a crisp.

After high school we stayed in touch and for a while she and I both worked part time at a local grocery store. She was a full time student and I had a full time office job, but she was saving for college and I was buying a Mustang. Then in 1968 she sailed for Europe as part of her studies and a few days later I got married. Eventually, we lost touch with one another. Then maybe six or seven years ago I found Brigid's E-mail address on our high school's alumni page. I quickly wrote and she quickly replied. She still lived in New Jersey and I now lived in Texas, but we did manage to see each other a couple of times over the years.

Brigid had finished college, worked for a while, and then went on to law school. She told me one time that her mother had read in the Ladies Home Journal that law was a good career for a woman in the early 1970's. While I had kids and raised a family, Brigid had practiced law.

She had also battled breast cancer and received a stem cell transplant as part of her treatment. Needless to say, she was a wonderful support system for me the last two years as Reid battled cancer and also had a stem cell transplant.

Brigid retired almost ten years ago. She was a lawyer for the Federal Government working in the vicinity of the World Trade Center. She was working from home on 9/11 and shortly thereafter decided to retire early. I think cancer and terrorism factored into her decision.

I always enjoyed her E-mails. She was the voice of reason when I expressed my fears about Reid's treatment. She stood by my side. She never let much time go by without writing and asking how Reid was doing. Her caring E-mails and loyalty meant so much to me. I can't even begin to express how much I appreciated her support. She was there when I needed her the most. That's a very, very special friend.

All of a sudden I didn't hear from her. I wrote and never heard back. I knew she and Brian often took off on trips or cruises, so at first I wasn't too concerned. On occasion a couple of weeks might go by without any word from her, but then she'd write and say they had gone to Florida, Las Vegas, or on a cruise. When the hurricane was headed up the east coast in August I wrote again and asked if she was ready for the storm. I never heard back. I was starting to get a little concerned, so I E-mailed her last week and told her I was worried. Still no word.

Last night something told me to google her name. I did and pulled up her obituary. She had died on August 15th of a heart attack at home. The obituary said she died peacefully. For that I'm grateful, but I'm heartbroken too. I miss her. I'm glad we were able to reconnect for a while. I just wish it could have been longer. I no longer have anyone in NJ that would have seen the obituary and recognized that she was my friend, so I didn't know. Today I found Brian's business E-mail address online and wrote to him to let him know how sorry I am right now. He's certainly in my thoughts and prayers.

This is a picture of Boh taken in 2004. She's meeting my travel doll, GinnyFaith.

Good bye Boh. I'll miss you more than you'll ever know. Thank you for being such a special friend.

Now on to a couple of updates. Reid had his latest scans a couple of weeks ago and this time he lit up on the PET scan in a lymph node under his right arm. However, it was very slight and the doctor told us that it can happen to anyone with a cold, sore throat, cough, or even a scratch on the arm. Normally, it wouldn't mean much but because of his history of Hodgkin's they will keep an eye on it and he'll be rescanned in three months. He continues with the clinical trial, but we're fairly certain he's getting the placebo right now.

The same week Reid got his scan results my husband had a biopsy. He's been diagnosed with prostate cancer. On Monday we meet with his Urologist out here to see what he recommends and on Tuesday he'll be seen at MD Anderson for their take on the situation. We really need to get some kind of treatment started soon as he hasn't been feeling well at all lately.

This week we had a new floor put down in the dining room and entryway. I had ordered this floor a year ago and then my Dad died and Reid relapsed and the company was so nice about waiting. We're enjoying the new floor, and I'm glad to have it down before Jim starts any treatment.

I think I'll probably be hit and miss around here for a while. I'm hoping to catch up on some blog reading this weekend if time allows.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday..."U" as in United We Stand

It's time again for Alphabe-Thursday sponsored by Ms. Jenny over at Jenny Matlock..."off on my tangent." Today we are studying the letter U.

The first thing I thought of was the motto:


I think it's sometimes forgotten lately and I find that really sad. According to Wikpedia the basic concept is that unless the people are united, it is easy to destroy them.

Almost ten years ago we were united as one during one of the saddest days in our history.

United We Stand was also a song back in 1970 and sung by Brotherhood Of Man. When I looked at the You Tube Video I couldn't help but wonder what they must think now of the outfits and hair styles they wore forty years ago.

Now head over to Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of this week's participants and for information on how you can join in the fun.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Welcome Fall

The last couple of days have been wonderful! Very low humidity and the temperatures have dropped into the 80's and low 90's. Granted, we still have to run the A/C, but the low humidity is a real treat.

I had already decided that I'd put up some fall decorations in early September. After the 100+ temperatures I wanted to pretend it was fall. On Saturday I ran to Michael's and bought what I needed to make a new wreath. The silk leaves have a tendency to act like blotters and absorb moisture from the air. In no time they mildew, but I still use them for a while. Real leaves aren't perfect, so I figure the black spots are OK for a couple of  years.  It was now time for a new wreath and some new leaves.

Here we have our artificial fall foliage, artificial pumpkins, artificial gourds, etc. I've given up on the real rots too quickly. And our leaves don't turn pretty colors. They just dry up and fall off over the winter. They need cooler temperatures to trigger the pretty colors. So, we use pretty make believe leaves.

I know it will get hot again, but for now I'm enjoying what we've got.  I just wish we'd get some desperately needed rain to put out all the Texas wild fires.  It's really getting bad.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Flag Of Honor for 9/11

Have you seen these flags? We got our 9/11 flag at Lowe's. At first I wasn't sure how I felt about it, but then I read that a portion of the proceeds will go to The Voices of 9/11 Museum at Ground Zero, the Flag of Honor Fund, and the Wounded Warriors Project. This is just a quick scan of the folded flag.

It's an American flag with the names of everyone who perished as a result of 9/11 as the stripes on the flag. We also purchased the yellow banner that says Honor & Remember. I'll fly it on the 10th anniversary this year and then every year afterwards.

With the 10th anniversary approaching I'm finding myself a little down in the dumps. It makes it all seem as if it just happened again. I'm flipping channels and seeing some of those awful images again. I'll never forget, but I think this flag and banner will help make me feel like I'm doing something to honor and remember the people we lost that day when I fly it each year.

I do have a problem with companies and individuals profiting from this tragedy and I realize the flag company will be making some money. It is an American company however. Anyway, I have mixed emotions. How do you all feel?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Update on Ridgefield, CT

On a follow up to my previous post you'll be glad to know that 84% of Ridgefield, CT now has power. By Monday 99% should have their power restored. Those of us who have been through hurricanes before would probably say they're very fortunate. I hope they remember to thank the kind people that came to their assistance.

I found something written by a lineman for Center Point Energy in Houston who worked at restoring power for people after Hurricane Ike in 2008. It was very interesting to read how things were from his perspective. For three weeks he worked from 5:30 AM until 9:30 PM every single day. After that he worked 12 hour days for two weeks. He said he was just as anxious as every one else to have all the power restored so he could go back to normal working hours.

He did have to deal with one angry man and some fool that called the electric company and said a child had touched a live wire only to find that it was a ruse to get a crew there. He also spoke of how much it meant to him when a group of people showed their appreciation and an elderly lady gave him a hug.

You can read his account of events here. It's a very interesting and informative read.

We sure take electricity for granted until it's gone. I think the people that work long, hard hours after hurricanes and other natural disasters deserve our thanks and appreciation.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ridgefield, CT...what is your problem???

I couldn't believe what I heard on NBC news tonight. The people of Ridgefield, CT are upset because their electricity isn't back on yet since the hurricane. The electric company linemen are receiving police protection from the angry citizens. You can see the story here:

NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams - Crews Still Working To Restore Power In The Northeast

I just hope the story is incorrect or there's some reasonable explanation.

It hasn't even been a week! After Ike in 2008 we were without electricity for a week and other residents of our community even longer. Our next door neighbors had their electric meter torn off the house by a tree that went down. They had to get an electrician to repair the meter and then wait for the electric company to come back, so they went another week or more without electricity.

What really upset me was seeing trucks from Pike Electric Company of Mt. Airy, NC in the background of the news report. This is the company that came here after Ike and worked for weeks in the heat and humidity restoring electricity. We welcomed them with open arms and they didn't need police protection. After all they left their homes and families to come and help us and we were grateful.

I noticed it was 75 degrees in Ridgefield this afternoon. I'm assuming it goes below 70 at night. They need to try sleeping in 90+ degree weather with high humidity and no A/C.

Someone needs to explain to the citizens of Ridgefield that this is what's called a natural disaster. Perhaps someone from New Orleans can explain to them what it's like to lose not only your electricity, but everything else along with it.

Please excuse my rant. The fine people from Pike Electric deserve better. I will always be grateful to them.