VirgoVoice

I'm just sayin'

Dogs I Have Known and Loved

I’ve been wanting to decorate a wall in my house with photos of all the dogs that have been a part of my life in some way. Some have been dogs that that were part of my family. Some have been dogs of friends of mine. Some have been foster dogs. And some are part time dogs that stay with me for the day or sometimes just overnight or a couple of overnights. Besides my two dogs, Phoebe Rae and Reba Faye, I have an 11-month old, 7 pound, female, Yorkshire Terrier, Bubbles, who comes spends the day at my house and her older ‘sibling’ Mac an 85-pound golden retriever comes over in the morning and then meanders back home through our common fence and gate. When the ‘girls’ bark at the squirrel that teases them running along the fence, then Mac comes to see what the fuss is about. After seeing all is okay he quietly sneaks back to his resting spot in the shade, up against the house with his nose next to the gate sniffing all that wafts his way. Some days I have too much time on my hands – I take pictures of them. A lot of pictures.

With the desire to put up a  collection of photos of dogs I have loved, I have been going through heaps of photos and thought I’d share.

 Phoebe and Reba

These are my present dogs. Phoebe was my first foster dog and I kept her. She was sick and needed a place to recover. I knew when I picked her up from the rescue foundation that it was going to be difficult to give her back when she was healthy. And I was right. I ended up keeping her. There lies the basis for my title as the ‘Foster Failure.’ She is loaded with personality. She makes funny woo-woo- woo noises if someone doesn’t acknowledge her when they come into our house.  And Reba, named for a famous red-head country singer, was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, so she is on medication and not so much calorie intake. The latest report on her is she has lost about one and half pounds in 10-days! So there Jenni Craig!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Mac

Mac is my neighbor’s dog who comes over everyday. I throw him the tennis ball and he catches it and runs home with it. I have found ten-balls stashed all around his food bowl. I bring them back to my house and we start all over; I throw ’em and he steals ’em.

  Bubbles

Let me just say, Holy Terror. Bubbles spends most days with me and my two dogs. She think she has to be the boss of Reba.  And she steals the ball from Mac. It’s a little quieter after she returns home in the evening. Sometimes too quiet.

                                                                     Dora

Dora arrived at our house in pretty rough shape. She was matted, never had shots, she was in heat and just a puppy. Her owners had her parents and found homes for the other puppies in the litter. But not her. Unwanted, they neglected her. When she went into heat they were going to surrender her to the pound. A friend of mine couldn’t let that happen and took her in, but she had just rescued a chihuahua, terrier mix brother and sister. Who you gonna call? Of course, I took her home, gave her a haircut, a bath and she was almost good to go. I had her spayed and micro-chipped and found her a home six hours away. And there she resides with someone who adores Dora!  I guessed her to be a Schnoodle!  A schnauzer poodle mix.                                           

Lucky

Lucky, a chihuahua, was a weekend guest. His family had to attend an out-of-area funeral and couldn’t take the little guy. He was only 8-weeks old and weighed in at just about two pounds. He carried that rope toy around all weekend – it weighed almost as much as he did.

Jack

Jack Boy lived with us for 13 years. He was about three years old when he found us. One night I came home and this little guy was sitting in my driveway. Just stayed there when I got out of the car. I couldn’t just let him stray, of course not. So I put him in the garage for the night. I waited to introduce him to my two dogs until morning. Introduction wasn’t a huge problem, my two other dogs were females. After numerous hours nailing  fliers up on telephone poles I finally got a call three days later from Jack’s owners.  (That was his name) They didn’t want him back! Seriously. So we kept him. I called him a peek-Tzu, because I thought he was a cross between a Pekingese and a Shih Tzu

Fairlane

Fairlane was a foster dog who had kennel cough and needed to be away from the rescue foundation environment. So I took her in for a couple of weeks. She’s the first foster dog I didn’t keep after fostering. Boy, was it difficult to do. However, shortly after she went up for adoption I saw a picture of an 8-year-old boy holding her and anxiously waiting to take her home. Well, that felt better.  I guessed her to be a corgi-dauchsand mix. And yes. her head appears to be  too big for her body!

Fairlaine was a foster dog who had kennel  cough and needed to be away from the rescue foundation so she could get better and put up for  adoption.. She was the first dog I fostered and was able to return her so she could find  her ' forever' home. It was sure difficult to do. But I did see a picture on the rescue foundations web site of an 8-year old boy holding her  ready to take her home. That made my day.

The list goes on and on. In the future, look  for more photos and dog tales.

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Which Jobs For You?

I am so thankful there are people in the world that want to do a job I do not want to do, but are necessary to life as we know it today. Like the guy who crawls under houses to remove dead animals. I’ve wondered how many jobs can a guy get in a day to remove dead animals from crawl spaces or attics? I have never had to ask someone to do that in my whole life. And I’m closer to the end of that life than closer to the beginning. I’ve never even had a friend say to me, “Hey, we’d love to come over for that barbecue but we’ve got to get a dead animal out  from under our house.” But I know there’s a guy out there who is just waiting for another call for deceased animal removal. And I am very happy he exists.

But I’m not sure bagging up dead animals is in the same category as a bovine artificial inseminator. Really city folks, there’s someone who does that on a cattle ranch. It’s a guy or gal who dons a latex glove that goes all the way up to his elbow and he proceeds to, well, you know, inseminate the cow, almost all the way to the crook of his arm. If you’re a ranch person this seems like nothing. I’ve seen guys walk along the back end of the cows chatting it up with other farm hands while doing their job. I’ve seen it done. I really didn’t really want to witness it. Well, maybe there was a little bit of curiosity. But once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it.  So, I’m thinking here, when other kids are talking about growing up to be a fire fighter, a police officer or a nurse, the future inseminator is thinking, what? “I can’t wait to inseminate a cow.”  I’m hoping it’s the money that’s the attraction in that job.

Actually, I am grateful to all the people who can do anything medically. Or anything that has to do with bodily fluids or functions or blood or ripped flesh. I can’t even change a diaper. Well, at least not without gagging or getting the dry heaves. If  has an unpleasant odor, a runny consistency or looks like poop, I’m outta there. And yet, I’ve picked up dead bodies from a morgue and later styled their hair. Isn’t life funny?

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Apologies All Around

It happened. I was the victim of an email hacker. It resulted in two ways, One sent an email from my email address with a link. No other text, just the link.  And the other way I was hacked was the hacker or hackerette sent out an offensive email to just the contacts in my friends file, I think.  As far as I know,  my family members didn’t receive it. I think they’d say something to me if they had received it. You know the type of email if you are an avid email checker.  But  just in case you’re not sure if you’ve  received a suspicious email from someone you know, let me explain.

There’s the type of  email you get that looks as if it is coming from your friend, Betty Sue’s, email address. And in the subject line it says, Margarita Party and you know Betty Sue doesn’t drink. There’s a clue there. Do Not Open the email and if you have opened it let’s hope you did not click on the link, thinking, ‘what’s that crazy Betty Sue up to sending me to a Margarita Party!’  Then BAM you’re hit in the face with a pharmaceutical ad for breast enhancing drugs or enhancement to other parts of your body with just a pill. Wow, that’s convenient.  I do not know what happens if you go further than viewing the ad because, I have never done that. Once I opened the email and saw just the link I knew my friend did not send that email. I think, most people would have figured out that Betty Sue did not send this to to them and did not go further. I’d like to hear from anyone who has, well, wait a minute, maybe I don’t want an email from them!

Another email hacker scam is the one my cousin recently experienced. Everyone in her contact list got an email from ‘her’. The email was written well and it stated that she ( my cousin ) was in London and her purse had been stolen her passport was in it, her cell phone and all her money. Help. Please send $$$ to Western Union and gave an address. My cousin called me before I had a chance to open any email that morning. So the wording is not verbatim but you get the gist. Sadly, there was a time in our lives where my cousin may have been stuck in London and she would have been envied by some. It’s  really not too difficult to conjure up a picture of my cousin stranded in another country all alone with no money, no identification, asking for help. Luckily though, it was not her because I would have been ticked off if she’d gone without me!

Then there’s another way to get hacked and that is to send emails with offensive pictures or text or a cross between Mel Gibson/Ted Kaczynski style crap,  to all your contacts. I had that one happen to me. I received an email from a friend I only stay in touch with via email – we had mutual friends years back. And he wanted me to know the email I sent with the offensive racial content was not something he wanted to read. That was the first person to let me know they’d received it. He asked me if I was on meds?  Well, I checked my sent file to see if I had by some weird, out-of-body margarita moment sent anything like that. Nope. Not there. Phew.  But for the first time I saw a red #1 in the tool bar of my Yahoo account under notifications – I’ve never seen that before – so i clicked on it and it said there had been some suspicious activity on my email account and I could click on their link and look at my log in history. Hum, didn’t know I could do that. So I did. And lo and behold I could see that someone in Poland had accessed my account. So While I’m sleeping away someone in Poland is taking the time and effort to send crap to people I know. What’s up with that? And what’s the point. I don’t get it. I’m not sure what the hacker gets out of it. But it got a rise out of an old friend and not in a good way.

Yahoo advises to periodically change your password. Guilty. I had not been doing that. I am now and plan to mix the passwords up on a regular basis. In the past I have been guilty of using the same password for several accounts. Not anymore. The same with your security questions, you should choose different ones now and then. I was just asked to name my favorite restaurant as my security question. That’s a little different than your mother’s maiden name which other people would know, every bank asks it. Every loan application. So it doesn’t hurt to be a little on the defensive in the case of on-line security. It’s not just yourself you’re protecting.

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Diagnosis; Stupid

As a cancer survivor I have empathy for those first receiving news of a cancer diagnosis. When my doctor first told me I had breast cancer I thought, did I hear her right? For me and I emphasize the ‘for me’ part because we all have our own coping mechanism, I remember thinking of all the shenanigans I participated in throughout my life this is how I’m going to die? What is up with that? I thought I’d die skydiving when I’m ninety when the whole dying thing is sooner than later. But nooo, I thought, I’m going to die just like thousands and thousands of cancer-stricken people do each year.

Receiving the diagnosis was a little different for me than most people because the doctor who told me thought I had already been told by the radiologist. So we were both shocked for different reasons; she realizing her blunder and me just finding out while standing in a waiting room. After the shock of learning I had breast cancer I asked the doctor, “What do I do next?”  She directed me to a surgeon. I called the surgeon right away and she couldn’t get me in for six days. I thought that seemed like an eternity. I couldn’t believe I had six days to walk around with cancer growing inside me. Take into consideration, by the time cancer is found in a person the cancer has been there growing without knowledge of it, for perhaps, years. So theoretically, what’s six days in the whole scheme of things? (That’s easy to say now.) When you’re in that moment it’s so easy to let your mind wander to the not-so-good-side to having cancer; like dying. Well, in those six-days of waiting I spent time with family and friends. I spent time at home. I tried to live as I normally would, cooking, cleaning, laundry all the while thinking I might die – soon. But not once do I recall thinking, I should sell the house, take all my friends on a Mediterranean Cruise, buy a racehorse, run with the bulls in Pamplona and buy that $500 ticket to see Garth Brooks. Maybe I should have been thinking along those lines instead of spending time with family and friends. Apparently, 69-year-old Frank from New Zealand was thinking along those lines.

Frank was diagnosed in May 2010 with terminal cancer. He and his wife Wilma sold their house at a loss. They took the money and spent it on vacations. They gave away Frank’s tools, clothes and other belongings he wouldn’t need on ‘the other side’. They gave away twenty-four thousand dollars. I’m not sure why Wilma was willing to do all that, she wasn’t diagnosed with terminal cancer. What did she plan on doing when Frank took that eternal dirt nap? Was she planning on living with her kids who most likely took the monetary gifts and bought themselves a house without mother-in-law quarters? Did Wilma think her daughters-in-law wouldn’t notice the extra seat at the table? Or the over-sized old lady underwear in the dirty laundry? Nevertheless, Wilma and Frank were spending away, savoring the last days of dear Frank’s life. After a while when Frank hadn’t died or shown signs of dying he was retested and it was discovered ol’ Frank had been misdiagnosed. He wasn’t dying after all. Well, maybe just a little on the inside since he had no home, no job, no tools even if he had a job, no money. WTHeck?

It’s a good thing I didn’t take Frank’s path. If I thought I was really terminally ill, I would probably have fewer friends and family to deal with today, because I am not one of those people who say, “I hope I die in my sleep.” Heck no. I want to know I’m checking out because I have a few things I’d like to say to a handful people in my life, but not right now. We Virgo’s are baby-steppers; we don’t usually jump into situations without a backup plan. I am not giving my stuff away until I’m in that hospital bed sipping Ensure with a flexi-straw. Then y’all can divvy up what’s left of my modest possessions. I’m just sayin’! 

 

 

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A Tale About a Little Chubby Dog

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Reba Faye at the Veterinarian’s office today.

Last week several people and you know who you are, commented on how chubby my little, red-hair dog, Reba Faye, had gotten. She should weigh about 10 or 11 pounds; a bantam-weight. This time she weighed in at 15 pounds; heavy-weight. Mohammad Ali weight. Well, I knew she was a little chunky but I just figured she was a big-boned-gal. Alright, I knew she was husky, I wasn’t in complete denial. I knew I had to do something differently, so I stopped free-feeding about a month ago; ie putting recommended daily amount in a bowl and letting her feed herself throughout the day whenever she was inclined to. Well, there are actually two dogs in the household and it was a little difficult to monitor who was eating what. So last month the dogs joined the ranks of many dogs that get some food in the morning and some food at night. They adjusted to that routine just fine. Actually, they started letting me know when it was time to eat. However, Reba Faye didn’t seem to reap the rewards of that routine, at least not in the waistline department. After a month of new said routine and no improvements, my intuition told me something was not right. So I took her to the vet.

I told the veterinarian my concerns, for starters, weight gain without extra food. She asked me the brand of food and how much food she was getting. When I told the doctor I was giving her the recommended amount listed on the bag, one cup a day. I swear the doctor’s eyes twirled in her head, her mouth dropped open and she stared at me for a few seconds. When she could speak without stammering, she said Reba should only be getting ¼ cup a day. One fourth of what she was consuming. I told the doc I was following the guidelines on the back of the bag.

“Of course you do. The dog food companies want to sell dog food. They don’t care if your dog is fat,” she said.  What the heck is up with that? I was killing my dog. I should say my two dogs. The other dog, Phoebe Rae is more active and didn’t get as chubby, but she could lose two-pounds. She’s a little taller and should weigh about 12-pounds and she is up to 14 pounds. Poor little girls. Glad nobody reported me to the  CPS. (Canine Protection Services)

I feel as though I should go on a campaign to stop canine obesity. If you look around the dog parks you will see some overindulged canines. I know there are people who stuff their pets with treats and should be blamed for overfeeding their pet. But I am sure there are more dog-parents out there who are like me, trying to do the right thing. I want a healthy pet and one who lives out their life in a comfortable manner. Not carrying a weight load that will have them in a Hoveround before me.  http://www.hoveround.com/

In regards to Reba’s other issues I was concerned about, she pants a lot, even when it isn’t hot. The doctor noted her coat seemed dry. Put that all together and it spells blood work. The bittersweet news – I wasn’t totally to blame for her plus-size, it turns out she has hypothyroidism. I am glad to have made this doctor visit, the test and medication, which she’ll be on forever, was not an expensive visit. Reba is the third dog I have known whose owners thought the same as me, “How can they be gaining weight when they don’t get that much food?” In all three cases it was a medical condition. And in Reba’s case it was a double whammy; thyroid issues and overfeeding-by-instruction. She will survive. You’ll see, she’ll be the come-back dog. She got her name because she’s a red-head like country singer Reba McIntire. But I thought for a while there I should have named her Kirsti Alley.

If you have a pet and you have concerns about their weight-gain and think you are doing everything right. Have them checked out by your vet and check out the website  below for more information. And by all means, reconsider the recommended amount of food listed for your pet by the food manufacturer.   http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1597&aid=449

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I Don’t Know, Is Not An Answer

“If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?”  I imagine some individuals would answer right away. Some people would have to ponder. I don’t think there’s anything to ponder. Who would NOT have something they would change, even if it was as simple as saying, “Screw it, I’m going to have that second cup of coffee. “ Or that second donut. That second bourbon. Or third. I’m just sayin’, what would stop you from throwing caution to the wind. When death can be the consequence for your actions, like skydiving, jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle, scuba diving with sharks, the death thing is a deterrent – for most. (Obviously not for all people, because death row is full.) But if you knew you were going to die suddenly, no pain or illness just walking along main street window shopping one afternoon and boom, you’re dead. Flat out on the sidewalk. Your Starbuck coffee dripping out of the little sippy hole. You have on your old underwear. I think the question is, WHAT would you change about the way you are living now. I would have a hard time believing anybody who said they wouldn’t change a thing.

That question came from a little book I have cherished for years, it’s called, The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock PH.D. The edition I have includes 217 thought provoking questions which will fuel deep conversations, even amongst strangers. As a matter of fact, I bought this book for my cousin when I visited her in Hawaii. While in Honolulu I visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial. On the shuttle going to Pearl Harbor I met newlyweds from our hotel and we hit it off right away. The wife and I were cracking each other up all the way to the memorial grounds. We sat together in the Pearl Harbor Theater where we were shown the short film describing the infamous day, showing actual footage from the bombings and listing names of men who died, brothers and fathers and sons. Pretty moving and thought provoking which got us talking afterwards about ‘what if’s’ and that led me to tell her about The Book of Questions. Well, she and her husband looked at each other and back at me and they told me that while they were dating she asked him a question from that very same book every night. They couldn’t believe I had such a fondness for this little gem of a book. Coincidence? Hummm.

With this book who needs on-line dating? Just ask your date a couple of questions from Stock’s book, assuming they are telling the truth, it will tell you a lot about that person. There are no right or wrong answers. And ‘I don’t know’ is NOT an answer. Think about the question. Here’s another one for you; “You, your closest friend and your father are on vacation together, hiking in a remote jungle. Your two companions stumble into a nest of poisonous vipers and are bitten repeatedly. You know neither will live without an immediate shot of anti-venom, yet there is only a single dose of anti-venom and it is in your pocket. What would you do?”  There are things to consider, such as, who do you like better? What if you have a flashback of  your dad taking the car keys away when you were in high school? You have to consider your father has already lived longer than your friend. Your dad’s had more opportunities in life than your close friend who hasn’t married yet, hasn’t had kids or never had true love. Who do you save? In reality TV style maybe you could have each of them try to convince you that they are the one to save. Your friend would be saying, “Hey, remember that time I took the blame for the missing beers from your Uncle’s ‘fridge and he punched me?”  What’s your dad got, “Uh, remember that time I tried to stop you kids from having a dance at school?” Oh wait, that was Footloose with Kevin Bacon. You get the drift. What WOULD you do, panic and miss the window of opportunity to save either one? I have to admit, I’m just having trouble imagining that I’m hiking in a remote jungle in the vicinity of poisonous vipers, actually a nest of poisonous vipers. And mosquitoes, I’m sure. If you choose to save your dad he may put a little something extra in the inheritance for you. Hummm. However, if he’s dead you get that inheritance a little sooner. What if you save him and there is no inheritance; he spent it all on a vacation to a remote jungle with poisonous vipers? Ponder that.

Happy Father’s Day!

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 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_14?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=the+book+of+questions+gregory+stock&sprefix=the+book+of+qu%2Cstripbooks%2C223

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To Heck With Dear Abby

I take pride in myself in regards to being an informed consumer. Before buying anything; a product or service, like a lot of people, I first start looking through the newspaper ads. Okay, so a lot of older people start with the newspaper. Then the next thing I do is the internet-search-thing, with my pen and scrap paper next to me, which is the back of a used envelope. I begin with the information I found in the newspaper and start looking for the best deal on-line. Anyway, you get the picture and surly you have done something similar.

Though I’m an advocate of being an informed consumer, here comes the part where I confess and add some defense, I did not research the cable company where I live when I moved into this house eleven years ago. Defense, difficult to research on the internet when you don’t have internet service or easy access to internet service (I was diagnosed with cancer four weeks after moving into the house so with treatment side-effects I stayed home more than usual, not the best time to be hanging out in libraries – can you hear the tiny violins?) Anyway, if my memory serves me right there wasn’t a choice back then. Fast forward to 2012. My cable bill continued to increase on a regular basis. I know it’s not just me the cable company gouges. When my recent cable bill arrived, I was abruptly reminded that the ‘best deal’ I had with the cable company; their promotional priced triple-play-bundled-package, had ended. And one certainly knows the end has happened by the AMOUNT DUE dollar amount at the top of the bill. It is the equivalent of a week’s worth of groceries, for a family of four, in Alaska. I was so mad at myself for not doing something about it when the monthly bill crept up over the months, years really. Well, I decided to do something about it. I called right away, spoke with a not-so-friendly-dude, I lowered the package with no contracts to be obligated to. And just as I was about to research my other choices in the neighborhood which was AT&T, someone knocked at the front door. It was a sales representative from AT&T u-verse. Serendipitous, I say!

Well, my sales guy, Justin Wong, stood on my front porch for an hour and a half and explained the ‘best deal’ I could get with AT&T u-verse. I admit, the whole hour and half wasn’t just about the provider or services. He told me his girlfriend had “The Talk” with him the past weekend; the where-are-we-headed talk. He also, told me how strict his father was about grades when he was in school. He said he grew up in San Francisco, went to USF, got a degree in Liberal Arts because he didn’t know what he wanted to do and certainly did not want to teach. (He said he’s not so fond of kids. His girlfriend wants kids someday. Red flag? You think?) He asked me what I thought was an important component in a successful marriage. I told him compromise. Think about it. I asked him has he ever gone to see a chick-flick when he really wanted to see an action-movie? Yes, he said. Have you ever eaten sushi when you really wanted a juicy, steak? Yes. Have you ever watched Desperate Housewives when you really wanted to watch a ball game? Yes. Well, that’s the type of compromises you will be making when you are married. Till death do you part. He grimaced.

In between his personal story we discussed fiber optics, internet speeds along with available television channels. He let me know he and his girlfriend don’t enjoy the same programs. I told him, “There’s a red flag.” I asked him what he was looking for in a mate. He thought about it. “Hummm,” he said. So I asked, “What’s her parents relationship like? He told me her parents really didn’t seem to interact with each other very much. There’s a clue there. He was starting to look a little worried. Beads of sweat broke out on his brow. I thought we better wrap up this session. He went way over his 50-minutes! I figured he had a lot to think about on his drive back to the city. And me, I have a new provider which came with snappier services. I am enjoying my less expensive, faster internet and clearer fiber optic picture on TV. And I also watch out my window for an angry, young woman, without an engagement ring, driving up and down my street searching for the front-porch therapist.

Check out AT&T u-verse: http://www.att.com/u-verse/shop/?WT.SRCH=1#fbid=kSan4-9Gb_B

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Singing is not my specialty!

 Although I am not musically talented, I am musically interested! I am drawn to the competitive singing shows. Go Figure. I like them for the music, but also I like to see the young, passionate artists using their gift and pursuing a goal. I love to see each individual go through personal growth experience from the challenges. Plus, I believe it is important in life to give back and that’s a part of what’s happening in a show like Duets on ABC. Sure there may be other motives for the celebrities to be a part of the show. But they are there. With the success the professionals have achieved, like Kelly Clarkson, it is inspirational to the nervous, wet-behind-the-ear contestants to have the professionals in their lives to mentor them, encourage them and give them a helping hand to aid them in achieving their goal. It gives them an insight into the business that under ‘normal’ struggling artist lives could have taken years. And I am happy for them. In case you aren’t familiar with the show but enjoy good music I have outlined the premise of the show and brought you up to date. You not only get to enjoy the duets with the amateur and the professional but the celebrities have opened the show singing a duet. Episode 3 had Jennifer Nettles and John Legend singing together; I Got the Music in Me.

Duets, airing on ABC, is a competitive singing show where each of the singing celebrities scour the country to find two amateur singers who have not yet attained their dream of being a professional singer. Each celebrity finds two singers who compliment their own voice because they will be singing together and judged by the other three celebrity judges. The judges vote anonymously and the scores are tallied right away. The names of the amateur singer are entered on the board from highest score to lowest score immediately following their duet. The two lowest scoring contestants dual it out at the end by singing solo and A Cappella for the judges who all vote and the lowest scoring amateur singer goes home. Well, I guess they don’t have to go home but they can’t stay there.

The host of Duets, “Quaddus” – Benjamin Quaddus Philippe, is a 31-year old from Toronto, Ontario, born July 10, 1980.

This season’s judges are;

John Legend, Singer/songwriter/actor, b December 28, 1978, Springfield, Ohio,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Legend ,

Kelly Clarkson, Singer, Winner of Season One of The American Idol, born April 24, 1982, Fort Worth, Texas 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Clarkson .

Jennifer Nettles, Musician/Singer/Songwriter, half of the duet Sugarland, born September 12, 1974 in Douglas, Georgia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Nettles

Robin Thicke, Musician/singer/songwriter/record producer/actor and son of Actor Alan Thicke, born Los Angeles,California.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Thicke

The Duets teams arehttp://beta.abc.go.com/shows/duets/teams

John Legend with Bridgett Carrington and Meleana Brown

Kelly Clarkson with Jordan Meredith and Jason Farol

Jennifer Nettles with J Rome and John Glosson

Robin Thicke with Alexis Foster and Olivia Chisolm

Last  week’s song theme were songs that inspire;

John Legend and Bridgett Carrington sang; Heard it Through the Grapevine and Meleana Brown sang, If I Ain’t Got You.

Kelly Clarkson sang with, Jordan Meredith Mama’s Broken Heart and Jason Farol, Hallelujah.

Jennifer Nettles sang with J Rome How am I Supposed to Live Without You and John Glosson, How Great Thou Art.

Robin Thicke sang with Alexis Foster Killing Me Softly and Olivia Chisolm, Crazy in Love.

On of June 7th, 2012 amateur Alexis Foster, Robin Thicke’s choice, was voted off.

Typically the show airs on Thursday nights but this week it will air on, Wednesday June 13th, and the theme songs are “Party Songs”.

And just for fun I’ve added a link to a farewell song to CSI:Miami . If you have been a follower and will miss the show you have to see this… goodbye CSI: Miami

 http://screen.yahoo.com/goodbye-csi-miami-29616463.html?pb_list=23dce613-c500-43f0-9134-70e58b73187a   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Keeping the Peace

Remember that old adage regarding keeping peace; ‘don’t discuss, politics or religion’? Well, I’m going to add one more topic. I know there has to be more than two topics to stay away from if you want to keep peace with the person you are having a discussion with. I’m sure on more than one occasion the word discussion is used as a polite euphemism for arguing. Even that is up for discussion as to when the discussion tip-toes over to the arguing side. Hummm!  So now I’m wondering, if two people, let’s say one’s a man and one’s a woman and they’re out to lunch and in between looking at the menu, they hit a bump in the conversation, they move along to another topic. She brings up the subject of the advantages and disadvantages of, let’s say, uh, being married or getting married for that matter. They hit on a couple of mutual notes about the marriage scene but then they differ on a component, like, say, monogamy. She’s for it. He is not, surprised?  Undoubtedly, she tries to convince him that it is the right thing to do. It’s what marriage is about. He says he doesn’t think one has to be monogamous to have a meaningful marriage. So, is this still a discussion or is it an argument? Well, I looked it up in the ole Webster and it says a discussion is a. “Consideration of a question in open and usually informal debate.  b. “A formal treatment of a topic in speech or writing.”  Argument: a : a reason given in proof or rebuttal, b : discourse intended to persuade. Okay, so there, persuade, I think that is an operative word.  Because I think when two people are discussing a topic in which they have differing views, one might be open to hear how the other person came to their choice. But when that person begins to attempt persuasion, stating how the other person’s view is wrong and how their own view is better, I suppose that would be a good opening for an argument. When really, the only thing one of them wanted was to eat their lunch and have a conversation that’s it. But noooo, it turned into a discussion and then turned into argument. Now nobody is talking and there is no discussing, no arguing, no rebuttal, no persuading. Just silence. Golden silence. Maybe the answer in all that discussing is marriage really is not for the two of you, or maybe it’s just a topic to stay away from. Like the other topic I want to add to the DO NOT DISCUSS list, which possibly could come up when trying to order a meal in a restaurant with a friend; vegan vs carnivore.

Newly acquired veganism/vegetarianism for some becomes like a religion or recovery from drugs and/or alcohol or having an epiphany about, well, anything, whatever it is, it will be shared. Believe me. The newbie wants to share all their knowledge of what you are doing to your body, the earth and well, some believe, your soul is damned if you choose to slap a piece of cow on your plate; preferably with grill marks. However, there’s another old saying, “Survival of the fittest.” If a cow could outrun us they wouldn’t end up on your In-Out-Burger. I’ve never seen cheetah burgers on a menu! I’m just sayin’.

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I am not afraid…

…of snakes. I just don’t particularly care to be surprised by them. Recently, I had a day full of errands and was trying to stay on schedule. But a four-foot long snake had other ideas. The slimy creature parked itself halfway under my truck, just under the driver’s door. I almost stepped on it because I was focused on the bird nest atop my motion detector light fixture. I don’t like to disturb the mama bird, a black phoebe, on her nest because she flies away each time I come and go from that door. So I was looking up walking to my truck when the bird saw me and flew off, just narrowly missing my head. I ducked quickly, almost losing my balance. Wow, that was close, I thought. Then I focused more on just getting in my truck when lo and behold I saw the snake. My two dogs were oblivious to it. I thought that was weird. Anyway, I shooed the dogs back into the house and I followed. 

Like I said, I am not afraid of snakes, I just want to know they are around, close by, in my vicinity, in my yard, my driveway. I just want to keep my eye on them. So, I stood and watched the snake from my screen door. I wanted to know which way it was headed. Well, it didn’t move. At all. We we’re having a standoff. I think it was not going to move if I was nearby. But I didn’t want to leave because if it moved I wanted to know where it went. Then I got the bright idea to call animal control – which I have on speed dial because of dead coyotes on my property, injured birds, found turtles, lost dogs and well, you get the picture – so, I dial up the animal control and listen to my choices to select the right department, dead animals, stray animals, wild animals – I’ll take that one. I get an animal control officer and tell her I have a snake in my driveway that is just hanging out. She asks me to describe it and I tell her I think it’s a gopher snake. She says, “Oh, we don’t come out for gopher snakes.” Hummm “What kind of snakes DO you come out for?” I asked. “We don’t come out for gopher snakes,” was her reply. So there’s a clue here. If you want animal control to remove a snake from your property don’t tell them it’s a gopher snake. 

After about 10-minutes the snake started to slither verrrrrry slowly under my truck eventually making it’s way under the other vehicle in the driveway. That total move of about six or seven feet took that snake approximately 15-minutes. I went out the front door so I could watch from the top of my driveway so I would know when it was clear to move my vehicle. That’s how I figured it to be four-feet long. It was as long as the wheel base on my truck. I do not know where it went but the terrible gopher problem we had has been minimized. Though, I repeat, I am not afraid of snakes or low flying birds, but I admit I do not step out my door, front or back without sticking my head out first and looking both ways; up and down.

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Watching it through my screen door.

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