January 1, 2020

It’s the first day of the new year and all is well (so far.)

We headed home from the Cape this morning and made it home safe and sound. After unloading the car and unpacking, we spent the remainder of the day cuddling with the pups, watching a movie, resting, and recouping from our big adventure.

While the latter half of 2019 was a less than desirable train wreck of health issues, Rita Mae wants us all to remember…what happened in 2019 stays in 2019 (including how she earned these beads on New Year’s Eve):

Here’s to a new year of the Universe poking holes in all of our plans!

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Happy 2020

Happy New Year from P-Town. The hubby didn’t make it to midnight, so the BF (Jim) and I brought the New Year in with friends and pets.

Hope everyone is safe, healthy, warm, and looking forward to the year ahead.

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Dogerwauling

Look closely and, on either side of the snack bag, you’ll see two puppies laying quietly in their car seats:

We loaded up the car this morning and headed to Provincetown MA for 7 days. This is the first trip to the cape with the dogs, and their longest car ride (5 hours) since first joining our family 7 years ago.

We were treated to the following serenade the first 1.5 hours:

Mostly Harvey, although Rita whined a little. We stopped for “bathroom time” and once they were back in the car, they finally settled down and seem to be sleeping quietly.

Let’s see how long this lasts. (As I type this, there are sounds of stirring and light simpering.)

It was a quiet, non-eventful Christmas with all the usual trappings: lights, decorations, music, presents, egg nog, cocktails, and animated specials, void only of visits with family and friends. We did something new this year and went out to dinner on Christmas Day, taking my Mom along. It was a wonderful meal and experience, and we discovered where all the local gay boys and their parents go on Christmas Day. We’ll definitely do it again next year.

Hopefully, the next week will be quiet and peaceful, and we will bring in the New Year the same way. The BF and his hubby will be joining us on the cape in a day or two with their dog and cat in tow, and mutual friends will join the four of us for New Year’s Eve dinner and drinks, so it should be a fun evening.

Hope you all survived the holiday!

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Merry Christmas (Doggy Style!)

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Harvey and Rita Mae wish all of you celebrating today a very merry Christmas.

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Merry Christmas Eve

Cheers, from our home to yours.

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Christmas Eve Eve Eve

Today was a big Christmas prep day for me. All gifts were wrapped, Gluten Free treats were made (Peanut Butter Cookies, Rice Crispy Treats, and Almond Fudge truffles) and some final cleaning and laundry were done. I work Monday and Tuesday. Jeffrey and I will do our traditional Christmas Eve breakfast before work Tuesday, at a random diner, leaving an especially large tip for whomever is our wait person (my favorite part of the holiday season,) then we will spend a quiet Christmas Eve at home together with the dogs, enjoying holiday treats and cocktails and watching favorite holiday movies.

We will swap a modest pile of gifts Christmas morning, enjoying a quiet day at home together, then take my Mom out to dinner Christmas night.

On December 26th, we pack, load up the car, strap in the dogs into their doggie seats, and head to the cape to spend a week in P-Town, celebrating the new year with the BF, his hubby, and mutual friends.

But, for now, we’re just enjoying the evening by the hearth, stockings hung with care.

What are your holiday plans?

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Happy Birthday Harvey!

He’s 8 years old today, but he’ll always be a puppy in my heart. Happy Birthday, little buddy! Thanks for filling our home with so much joy and love.

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Cookie Monster?

Harvey, being a pint size pup, needs his treats broken into small pieces to eat. If he deems a morsel too big to eat, he will just carry it around in his mouth, looking for a place to hide it. 30 minutes after giving him a piece of cookie, Jeffrey found Harvey wandering around the kitchen with the cookie piece still in his mouth. This is his “What cookie?” Look he gave us when we tried to take the food from him to break it into smaller pieces.

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Dated and done!

22 years ago, tonight, Jeffrey asked me out for coffee. He’s never left my side, since.

Thank you Jeffrey, for all that you’ve shown me, taught me, shared with me, given me, built with me, and supported me through.

Now, more than ever, I am so grateful for your presence in my life.

I am the luckiest.

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For David

It is a sad day.

This morning I awoke to a post on Facebook that had been posted 3 hours prior: my friend David (and former blogger at “Facing Traffic”, “Another Mile Marker”, and others as he changed his blog name a few times) chose to end his life. He made a final post on Facebook and, by the time I awoke and read it, he was in the hospital on a breathing tube. A family member was kind enough to keep us all posted on his status. I’ve been checking for status updates all day. It was confirmed a few minutes ago that Dave’s injuries were fatal and the family was taking him off life support. Dave was an organ donor. It is ironic and sad: he was kind enough to provide life giving organs to others, while unable to find something inside himself to save his own life.

I’d like to say I’m stunned, but I’ve known David for a few years and I know he struggled with bipolar depression, among other things. I tried to be as available for David as I could be as a long-distance friend, responding anytime he reached out, always reminding him I was here to talk, and our door was always open if he needed a place to go. But I know he struggled and I knew this was always a possibility.

We texted regularly over the years and got to know each other pretty well (I think.) When he adopted his dog Cooper (I always called him “The Coop”) a couple years ago and named us Cooper’s “godparents” (funny in that we were both atheists) we visited him to meet them both and had a great weekend hanging out, cementing our friendship. In all honesty, I encouraged him to get a dog, hoping it might provide him some regular affection and company and give him an extra incentive to keep fighting to survive when things grew darkest.

David and I were in touch almost weekly, usually sharing our ailments, dog daddy experiences, and our job struggles: me with hating mine, him with difficulties finding and holding a job that could accommodate his challenges. There was always the promise of another visit: us there or him here, as soon as we could make it happen. We stayed candid with each other, and David knew he could tell me anything and I would listen, without judgement.

Most recently, David told me he had been working at a Casino that had a branch in my area and he was considering transferring here. I tried to give him as much info about the area as I could, assuring him we would gladly and enthusiastically welcome him and the Coop with open arms if they decided to relocate. It was exciting to think he and Cooper might become local friends. (According to his final Facebook post, he has been unemployed for four months, so now I don’t know if the Casino thing was true or not.)

I am not angry at David for making this choice. I am sad that my friend is gone. I am sad that Cooper lost his Dad. I am sad that David suffered so much for so long and felt so hopeless and helpless. I am sad that he was alone in his final moments of awareness, unable or unwilling to find the strength to reach out for help one more time. And I am sad that, despite knowing better, my friendship wasn’t somehow special or strong enough to be his “saving grace” or lifeline.

This is the third time I have lost a blogger buddy to death, the second time it was due to suicide, but the first time it was someone I considered a real friend.

I am sorry this was the only way he could fathom to end his pain.

I will miss him.

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