Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Really Mean Thief and An Addison Update

You can click here  "Help Addison Kick This Thing"  or on the logo to the right if you have not met Addison.

Following are exerpts froma a story that appeared in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper after a gift that was given to Addison that helped him get some much needed exercise and outdoor time was stolen from his back yard.

 That Tuesday was going to be a bad day for Addison Kleinhans, no matter what happened.

Addison, 6, was diagnosed in April with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That Tuesday, June 8, he was due for an appointment at The Children's Hospital in Aurora, where doctors would draw his blood, yet again.

The test would show if Addison could progress to another round of chemotherapy and if his immune system was strong enough to allow him to be around other children.

Not that Addison would have any energy to play, because the chemo took that away, too.

"The first two months were really hard. He just slept all day," said his mother, Sarah Kleinhans.

Doctors didn't like the results, meaning at least another week inside and away from kids, Sarah Kleinhans said, but Addison did have one thing to look forward to on that day of bad news.

A family member had given Addison a 6-foot-tall yellow Giga Ball the day before. Addison could climb into the ball and roll around in his backyard.

51" Giga Ball

The Giga Ball is a toy and wouldn't protect Addison from germs, but Addison's parents hoped that it would encourage him to play and get some exercise.

"Anything that made him want to move was perfect therapy for him," his mother said.

Addison had spent the prior evening playing in the backyard with his sister, Madelene, 8. It was the first time in a long time he seemed to be having fun.

Addison with his sister, Madelene

But that night, the ball disappeared from the Kleinhans' yard.

"He was just crushed," Sarah Kleinhans said.

A neighbor, said she and her husband awoke about 2 a.m. the night before to discover a prowler in their backyard. They confronted him and he fled, but by that point he had been in the yards of several neighbors. Neighbors suspect he vandalized several homes and yards and stole Addison's ball.

Instead of feeling threatened about the prowler, the neighbors are just angry about the  playful little boy down the street being crushed about losing his Giga Ball after going through so much.

Addison's family and large network of friends -- the Facebook group "Help Addison Kick This Thing" has 864 members -- aren't interested in seeing the thief punished. They just want to make him understand.

"If they caught this guy, he needs to spend a day with Addison in the hospital, to get a finger poke and to see the kids throw up," Kleinhans said.

The story has a happy ending, though. A friend got Addison a new Giga Ball.

About 80 percent of children are cured of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. But the full course of treatment takes three years, and there is a small but statistically significant chance of relapse.

"Relapse is one of those things we'll be afraid of until he's 100," Sarah Kleinhans said.

As of a couple of days ago, Addison"s blood count was still not up enough for him to resume chemotherapy, but it is going up, so he will hopefully be able to resume his treatment soon.  He has to endure the dreaded finger poke every few days to check his blood count.

Addison with his new Giga Ball

Thanks to everyone for the interest, kindness, support, donations and prayers for Addison and his family.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Swimming With The Big Dogs

Our experience with our dog, Dodger, is that he does not like water. When we get him out of the car at the place where we give him a bath he starts to shake and pulls as hard as he can on the leash to go the other way. When there is water running in a shower or a bathtub, he will not go near the bathroom. If we are using a hose outside or the sprinklers come on, he immediately runs into the house. If he sticks his head out of the dog door and there is even a sprinkle of rain, he comes right back in. He even walks around puddles.

So we were very surprised when he was running with a couple of bigger dogs at the dog park and ran right with them into the dog swimming pond. Doc was afraid Dodger couldn't swim and thought he was going to have to go in after him. I told him they call it "dog paddling" for a reason. It is something dogs know how to do. (Doc is a little over-protective where Dodger is concerned)


He ran into the water without a moments hesitation.

He retrieved sticks

and balls.

He swam

and played with the big dogs.

Doc didn't even have to get his feet wet.

Today he got to meet Vista, the new puppy in my daughter Jill's family.

Even though he was brave enough to swim with the big dogs, I suspect Dodger will still walk around puddles.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toddler Angst

Toddler angst may not be as bad as teenage angst,
but it can be pretty rough.

At least it doesn't last as long.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yes, It Was Fun And It's Good To Be Home

I always love to go on a trip and I always love coming home. We had a great time in New Orleans. We spent our time mostly in the French Quarter and the Garden District where most locals, surprisingly to me, did not want to talk about the oil spill. I expect if we had been in places like Houma or Grand Isle that might have been different. Those who would talk about it seem to feel like things along and in the water are changed forever.

We were there as tourists so we did touristy things.

We rode the mule-drawn carriages through the French Quarter.
We liked this so much we did it more than once.

We rode the Canal Street cable car.

I did lots of walkabouts admiring the beautiful wrought iron balconies.

I thought this one covered with beads was fun.

I did some window shopping.

I thought this one might be appropriate for some BP execs.

I did my own personal praline sampling tour.
Aunt Sally's were especially yummy.

And, of course, beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.
I went twice.

A centerpiece of the French Quarter, Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral.
We were told that according to Kodak this is the 2nd most photographed spot in the world.
The first most photographed spot is Disney World.

There was music everywhere. The sights, the sounds, the smells and the tastes all worked together to make me a fan of New Orleans.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

I'm going out of town this week. While I am gone, I hope to see this,

and have some of these,

and maybe one of these.

I will also be thinking about those nearby who are dealing with and suffering from this.

Photos from Google Images

Oh, and wish me luck if I happen to sit down at one of these.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Life is Good Award

TechnoBabe at TechnoBabe's Adventures has shared a very nice award with me. What could be better than a "Life Is Good" Award. Technobabe is a wonderful and eclectic blogger and well worth a visit.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy doing it that way; if you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?

I started blogging to help me pay more attention to my own life and the "Life Is Good" moments. I didn't feel the need to be anonymous and I guess I still don't.

2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side.

I guess I'm not very stubborn because I can't thing of anything recently that has caused me to really dig my heels in. I think my stubborn side may have mellowed with age.

3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the face in the mirror?

I see and "11" between my eyes and a face that belies how I feel inside.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

My first choice would be an ice cold Coca Cola, but usually I settle for iced tea or water. Well, then there is a margarita or daquiri that I probably wouldn't turn down..

5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Apart from work my time is pretty much my own, mostly devoted to family, friends, books and blogs....and a minor computor Mah Jong addiction. I wish I had a passion for art or gardening, but I don't.

6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?

I would love to someday be able to do the splits, but it is more likely that I would find a way to achieve world peace than be able to do the splits. Mostly I just want to be known and remembered well by those I love.

7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the class overachiever, the class shy person, or always ditching school? Describe who you were if not one of these.

I was pretty middle-of-the-road related to all the above, except I didn't ditch school much. I'm not sure that I even knew who I was when I was in school. I think I did, and unfortunately sometimes still do, try to adapt myself to the situation in which I find myself.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment in your life, what do you see?

Births and deaths.

9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

I think I can write most honestly and knowledgeably about myself and don't find it hard to be truthful, especially about humorous things. I do like writing about my family also.

10. If you had the choice to sit and read or talk on the phone, which would you do and why?

I would always choose to read a book. I talk on the phone too much at work.

I'm supposed to pass this award to six others with 10 questions that I want to ask them. I would like to reserve the right to do this at a later time since I know some prefer not to participate in awards.

Thanks again to TechnoBabe.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Was A Polio Pioneer

Images from Bing Images

I was a Polio Pioneer, which means I was one of 1.8 million children who participated in the first mass Polio vaccine trial in 1954. Each of us was was given the vaccine, a button and card like those shown above, and a piece of candy. The trial was actually a double blind study in which half the children were given the vaccine and half were given a look-alike placebo, but all were Polio Pioneers

I was in the 2nd grade and I felt very brave as I waited in line for my turn to receive the shot. We all knew about swimming pools being closed in the summer and avoiding crowds due to fear of the Polio epidemic. We had all seen dreadful pictures of kids living in iron lungs. Hysteria is not too strong a word to describe the fear of the disease.

Photo from Google Images

I also had a little more personal knowledge of the ravages of the disease. My next door neighbor, who was four years older than me had contracted polio when she was 4 years old. She had to have a brace on her left leg and crutches to be able to walk. When I was at their house playing with her little sister I often saw her laid out on the dining room table being given excruciating physical therapy by her parents.

In just the early 1950's there were over 100,000 cases of Polio in the United States, causing life-long damage or death to most of those who contracted the disease. By 1957 there were only 6000 cases recorded. The vaccine I took was shown to be effective in preventing Polio. By 1964, two years after the introduction of an oral Polio Vaccine, there were only 121 cases reported in the United States. Similiar results occured worldwide, though there is still a Polio problem in some parts of Asia and Africa.

With all the things we might fear in today's world, thank goodness for most of us Polio is no longer one of them.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Six Word Saturday

I have invited a guest blogger

My granddaughter, Hope, who just turned 8 loves to write, so I have invited her to write a "guest" post for me. She likes to write stories and  to keep a journal of things going on in her life. She sent me this e-mail when I asked her if she would like to write something for me.

Hi Grandmom,

I would like to be a guest blogger on your blog. Is there a certain subject I should write about? And is there a certain time I should hand it in to you by?

I hope to see you soon,

Love, Hope

I told her she could write about anything she wants to or she could use a story she has already written that she likes a lot. I'll share her effort as soon as she "hands it in" to me.

To participate in 6WS visit Cate here.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Furry New Family Member

My daughter, Jill and her family have adopted this precious little Australian Shepard puppy, tentatively named Vista. She has to stay with her momma for another week or so. It has been almost a year since their Lab, Kilee, died and Jared and Justin have been sure it was time for a new dog for a long time. I think they have made the perfect match and they can't wait to bring her to her forever home.

I'm glad they found her and didn't have to settle for one of the dogs in these real newspaper ads.


8 years old.

Hateful little bastard.



1/2 Cocker Spaniel, 1/2 sneaky neighbour's dog.


Mother, a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd.

Father, Super Dog... able to leap tall fences in a single bound.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Exhausted, And I Haven't Really Done Anything

I don't know if it is the summer-like weather or some aberrant inner calling, but Doc is once again in full home maintenance mode and, frankly, it has me exhausted.

It is not that I have actually had to physically do anything. Our abilities don't lean toward us being do-it-yourselfers. I have mentioned before that Doc has a "guy" for every possible home maintenance need and one main go-to guy, the hapless Robert.

Robert has just finished (except for a few buckets and ladders scattered around the yard) painting the outside of our house, a pretty straight forward task, unless you are Robert. Doc allowed Robert to do the job after a man-to-man talk about it being completed in a timely manner. Long story short ( or maybe short story long), it took him almost a month to complete a job that was promised to be done in four days. I have spent most of that month either trying to soothe or trying to avoid Doc's anger at Robert. Exhausting.

Next comes carpet cleaning, new tile in the bathrooms and refinishing the deck. Doc thinks the best time for these things to get done is while we will be out of town for a few days in a couple of weeks. That would not be my first choice for several reasons, home security being at the top of my list. The fact that most all of Doc's "guys" already have our garage door code pretty much takes the air out of my security argument. My other argument about just not wanting to have all those people in the house when we are gone hasn't gotten too far either. I'm a "choose your battles" type, or maybe I'm just too exhausted to "discuss" it any more.

After that there will be interior painting. If Doc has gotten over being mad at him, that will again involve Robert, which just leaves me too exhausted to even think about it.

I know there are a lot of "count your blessings" in all of this and I am grateful that it is all getting done, or at least I will be when August gets here and it is all done and I'm not so  exhausted from doing nothing.