... Windi, Amanda, and Girl Scout Troop 60232 had a multi-family garage sale to help with our family travel expenses, which was featured in an August 22 local newspaper. Two days later we were on a plane to Boston for three more weeks of proton radiation ( <- pic of Madi) and another round of chemo. The levels of appreciation we have for everyone who helped are beyond words, which is why we're committed to pay it forward.
Today, hopefully the last project of 2019... a whole-house fan. It's hard to miss where we put the air intake as you walk in our front door :-)
Angela and I were at a friends pool party a few weeks ago and Angela was only asked once, and... how's Chris doing... really. It was from an out-of-towner we haven't seen since Madison passed. I've encouraged Angela to tell people directly to just ask me, or make something up telling people who ask 'he seems to be getting better... has almost stopped sleepwalking with a pacifier making bird sounds'. People were very reluctant to ask early on fearing they may hit a nerve; probably the same with mama-bear Colleen. She still picks Bailey up on Friday's after work, and drops her off on her way to work Mondays. A couple of Friday's ago Colleen called me on her way in to Target and asked me if we needed anything. Okay, who are you and what did you do with Colleen Jones? Needless to say, things are quite amicable. Rather than Bailey being alone during the day at her house, it's best for Bailey to be here with us and the three other pets.
As they most often do things continue to slowly level out after our loss, and I think it's getting easier on our friends who deeply love Madi too... hence the question mentioned above only happening once at the pool party. I believe things are leveling out for Colleen too. I find it interesting that I don't think or write about Madison in the past tense or use the word 'died', 'loved' (past tense) etc. We love her and she'll always be alive within us.
My quirky agitations at a park concert or casino are diminishing and I was actually in a bowling league this year. The prior season (2018) I'd pop by for a cocktail with our friends, but the loud bowling noises and highly-stimulating environment would slowly ratchet up my anxiety to the point when it's simply time for me to leave. One of the lessons I learned after a tragic loss was to always have an exit plan. Every place Angela and I went with friends, we drove separately but now I feel we're ready to even carpool.
I was sitting recently drinking coffee and looking at old pictures in my phone. I had already archived the gruesome post-surgery pictures, along with the alarming pics of tumor bulges on her ribs... not a lot of joy seeing those realities, which is why they're archived off, versus in my phone. I stumbled across an old treatment schedule which reflected all planned treatments from Dec 2013 to Nov 2014... back and forth to Boston, apartment rentals, Hope Lodge, Christopher's Haven, etc. Seeing that schedule prompted feelings of such immense gratitude to everyone who helped us financially and emotionally during our journey, and the lesson to just jump... and the net will be there. We did, it was, and we are incredibly grateful.
I titled this post Epilogue for a couple of reasons, but first I'll rewind back to January 2018. I obviously posted about Madison dismissing her mortal body at this link, and continued to write through the rest of January, link here. I still can't imagine closing this website because it seems to be something to me that connects her to us. What actually startled me was how many people reached out to thank me for continuing to post, and several hundred readers checking in weekly. There have been a lot of realities posted over the years, but I chose a passive site to share information/updates; one that wouldn't intrude with an email that this site was updated. If people choose to bookmark and follow along, great. If not, that's fine too... some people can't handle to much reality, which IMO is a form of self preservation. I still find it cathartic to write, and I'm not a fan of Facebook, Twitter, or any of the other mediums that people tend to post pics of their lunch.
Angela and I decided to pull the trigger and have new carpeting, interior doors, floor molding installed. It was either that, or go to Puerto Vallarta for a few weeks and come home to worn carpet that needed replacing. New carpet, who'd have thought how many triggers that generated? Given everything had to removed from all closet floors including Madison's bedroom, OMG... it's been a tough week proving once again that time does not heal all wounds. In our home-office closet I have every PET scan, MRI, CT, X-Ray on CDs... about 50 of them. I took a single notebook to every doctor appointment since 2013 up until the "this cancer will likely run it's course" discussion in September 2017 and then next, interviewing hospice providers. Madison and I are very analytical creatures. Together we listed questions to ask them and when we met, Madison wanted to ask the questions. In the back of the notebook I had pathology and genomics/DNA reports. I sat down for a while and thumbed through the notes I'd taken over the years, which included questions Madison asked the doctors with me being her scribe. There is no value keeping the notebook but had a hard time determining what to do with it. Given it brought on more funk than joy, I fed it to the shredder yesterday.
Next, going through many the personal belongings of Madison's in her bedroom closet, which brought some joy. I found her first photo album; some pictures below.
We're down to about 40 people checking this site weekly so in theory if (likely when) I finish the book, perhaps 40 book sales! Of course profit if any will go to the Chordoma Foundation, to XMO, with donations also to the Hope Lodge and Christopher's Haven in Boston, along with the Family House in San Francisco. I'm truly amazed at how much good is out there, and how lucky and blessed we were traveling during treatment.
Gypsy slept nightly with Madison like they were lovers. She actually has that pic in her album three times, the only duplicate photo. They do love each other (no past tense), and Gypsy was protective of Madison and her tennis ball for Madison to throw... for Gypsy. She was the best dog ever... of all of them. (don't tell Bailey or PJ)
Epilogue? The madisonrosefund URL came up for renewal. My plan was to drop the 'fund' part with a madisonrose URL but it turns out there's a porn actress who uses the name 'Madison Rose'. I didn't want to just let this site fade away so I renewed it. I do plan on using another URL, but TBD how to dump the contents over. The intent there is that if I do complete a book, I doubt it'll go to print/paper. An Amazon type e-book can have links to websites so I can make a lot of references pointing the 40ish readers there ;-)
Our home was built in 1964 and among other legacy traits, it had plain and hollow bedroom and closet doors. Angela and I decided to upgrade them, which obviously includes Madison's bedroom door. Since there's been no real reason to shut her door from the inside, I noticed something I'd seen many times on the back... but forgot it was there. A picture of her words, worth a thousand of them.
The ridiculously inexpensive cruise was very nice. Watching the last-minute deals, I noticed that Princess had dropped their last-minute-sailing price to $99 per person for a three day cruise from L.A. to Vancouver. I spoke with Angela, who seemed to have little interest in going. But wait! Three days, includes meals and we can explore Canada for a few days after that. She reminded me that it’ll be rainy and she’s already not a fan of Vancouver weather that time of the year. A few days later Princess dropped the price to $87 per person, and a few days after that $54. Given Angela had just returned from Princeton after 10 days, she suggested I go, so add-to-cart! It turns out that I’m a bit of a snob and won’t do anything less than a balcony. The rate was $129 per person for three days, so my cost was only $258 for a balcony cabin.Sweet! Mind you I'm not captain funbucks, far from it but $86 a day for a floating hotel room with a balcony, meals, shows, and all of the other perks included is a great value.
I chose not to watch any TV, so no CNN, no Fox, no email, no social media whatsoever and I loved that they had live music in so many corners of the ship. There was a waaaaay-to-drunk woman on the ship who looked like ‘Mama’ on the Carol Burnett show. After telling me all about hers, she asked me if I had kids, grandkids and I replied a simple “no”. She pushed more saying “you’ve never had any kids, none… I don’t believe it”. I said no, she pushed me again, and I explained that if she asked me again she’d feel really bad and guilty for asking. She asked again. While a sad ending, Madison was a beautiful song that will play in my heart forever. I can talk about her forever, explain the levels of pride and love, but those typically bounce off of sad faces. I don’t openly socialize Madison’s story or scenario to strangers because of the fact that more times than not, people feel horrible with the thought of how they’d feel if they lost a child. It was interesting being perceived in the age range of having grand-kids, but then again "Mama" bought the beverage plan with her partner in crime: they were both drunk by noon, and blotto by nighttime, maxing out their 15 drinks daily included with their plan. Had they been sober, I probably would have been perceived as a parent, versus a grandparent... so let's go with that.
As the ship approached Vancouver a beautiful sunrise!
The majority of the ships passengers were Canadian. Most whom I became acquainted with suggested the ferry to Victoria instead of spending three days in Vancouver. For less than $20 total, I took a train to a bus to the ferry to another bus, and finally arrived in Victoria. While the scenery on the ferry was very pretty, it was mostly the same… for three hours, which excluded the train and buses. I didn’t book any hotel in advance figuring I’d find an area I liked, and just wander in to one: I learned several years ago that hotels would rather get some money for a room versus having it empty. The scenery in Victoria was spectacular, I took long walks, wandered through their parliament building, museums, and really enjoyed myself.
Rather than ferrying to back to Vancouver, I opted for a seaplane, only a 30 minute ride, versus bus, ferry, bus, train, then Uber. Considering the amount of time that would have taken, the seaplane was another solid value. The afternoon before my flight left from there, I met-up with my sister from another mister Maureen, and her husband Scott. Maureen and I have spoken on the phone a dozen times and have exchanged dozens of emails and messages, but never met in person. Maureen and Scott speak annually at a University in Vancouver to graduating classes of palliative care professionals. Unfortunately they’re very well versed… they lost their daughter Angela to chordoma; Angela being their only child. I’m so impressed with their tenacity and willingness to speak to the graduating classes... they continue to pay-it-forward. They’re invited back annually and make the trek in (3-4 hours of trains, planes, and automobiles) and coincidentally were in Vancouver the only full day I was there. Hmmmm… maybe some things actually do happen for a reason.
I spend my last day exploring Vancouver, found a really nice water-front park, did some light shopping, and a ton of walking.
Early this month I traveled to Chicago for the Chordoma Foundation Community Conference. It was great seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I flew in a day early and spent Friday exploring, went to a fantastic museum/art gallery, then to a blues festival that was just ramping up. The main stage is pictured below, but there were other bands and dozens of booths on the side. The 2019 Chordoma Conference was great, and key takeaways are at this link. The main takeaway for me was something I already know: chordoma is a solvable problem and there is a significant amount of progress being made: Looking at Pubmed, I'm amazed there are so many recent chordoma papers being published. #Recent, versus what we saw published even just a few short years ago. While I no longer officially have a dog in this fight, I will see it through. Researchers have determined that when they break brachyury, the Achilles' heel of chordoma and interestingly a few other rare cancers, the tumors basically wither away.
It's a good time to be a mouse.
Something old and beautiful next to something new and well, no so much.
Chicago is very a noisy city, unlike Simi Valley. Chicago has magnificent skylines and is rich with architectural history, unlike Simi Valley.
Last week I attended an XMO summer camp dinner: it was wonderful seeing the trainers and athletes, as well as my sister Shannon who volunteered this year. XMO leadership presented an award to Pastor Simon (from Madison and Colleen’s church) for his commitment and excellence. As Bryan was announcing the award, I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say I was choking back the tears. Madison’s mom Colleen was next to me, so trying to appear casual I asked her how it was even possible that she’s holding it together. It turns out same as me, just barely! It’s not that we were hurting, but at least for me beauty and goodness often brings joy in the form of tears. Note in the bottom left corner of the picture below; the name of the award.
Overall June has been a busy month. We bought the PPV SUV, and I finally sold Madison’s car a couple of weeks ago. She’s smiling: rather than me settling for under-powered sensibility, I have something that’s all dressed up like a US Marshall’s SUV. Wait! It was a US Marshall’s SUV, so in Blue’s Brothers lingo, the cop horn, light bars, and siren… oh my! From the rear, it looks like a Chevy Tahoe with dark windows. From the front, cop push-bar, cop-tires, and 3’ light bar (inside the windshield behind the rearview mirror), a spotlight, and ludicrously loud P.A. I know what you’re thinking and have been asked the same numerous times; how can this even be legal? The official answer is that none of it cool stuff has power connected, as far as you know. I removed and sold the weapons locker/drawers from the rear of the SUV, so it now actually functions an actual SUV, so we can load dozens of load bags of soil, mulch, bicycles, trays of plants, etc.
While Madison loved the maximum miles per gallon, I know in my heart that she wouldn’t want me to settle for something that I simply didn’t like to drive... her car. I’m big, her car wasn’t. I have a high center of gravity, her car is low. On an uphill freeway on-ramp, I had to rev that thing like a sewing machine just to get up to speed. The ultimate reality is that is was her car... would never feel like mine.
In the SUV I’m actually more amazed that I expected to be with how courteous people drive around me. I’m not tailgated, not cut me off just ahead of a freeway off-ramps, etc. While I certainly haven’t earned nor do I deserve the respect of our anyone in law enforcement, the presence of the SUV does slow people down, dramatically reduces the selfish stupidity of impatient drivers, which makes the areas I drive much safer for everyone around me.
Yea, I’m going with that.
Angela and I drive most places together and take her car (the Genesis). Last week she went up to Ventura for a girls-day with her sister in-law Rikke. On her way out she asked me if she should take 'the Camry', and I said "nah... take 'the Genesis". Angela appreciates the practical aspects of keeping Madison's car that has 76,000 miles of warranty remaining, yet it doesn't spark joy with her either.... perhaps too practical and personal for both of us.
Madison smiled down on us today... Angela felt it too. We bought the SUV (thread below), basically exchanging Madi's car for something she would love me to have instead... something fun and would spark joy! Madison greatly appreciated the unspoken yet never implied sacrifices that moms and I made... and wants us to experience joy. Enter the beast. No more 'the Genesis' or 'the Camry', so we didn't have to call Madison's car by a different name.
Yes, Madi's smiling upon us and I know this to be so... what each of us truly believes is the only truth. Life is precious, and finite, so it's my absolute responsibility to find, promote, and embrace joy... Madison's life and mortal death taught me that. I'll write about my cheap cruise to anywhere and potentially more tattoos when I get back.
Last week Angela and I had lunch with her cousin Mark and his wife Allyn: they have a retired police SUV (as Jake noted on the Blues Brothers movie, it's got cop a engine, cop brakes, cop suspension, etc). While Mark's SUV had holes where the 'cop' equipment was, it's a beefy sounding Chevy Tahoe... and that 'sparked joy' with me. I went online and was searching for a generic Chevy Tahoe and there it was... something extremely impractical: a police interceptor-edition Tahoe SUV. While Angela likes GPS Navigation and burl-wood on the inside, I like switches for air-horns, lights, etc. I haven't yet convinced Angela... I think she may be able to be swayed, but it'll take some promises and convincing and of course a price reduction from the seller.
I picture pulling up in to Madison's mom's house and through the 'cop' PA system blaring out "COLLEEN JONES... COME OUTSIDE WITH YOUR HANDS UP AND YOUR PANTS DOWN, AND WALK TOWARDS THE SOUND OF MY VOICE BACKWARDS FOR YOUR SAFETY AND MINE". So if Angela says we're a go, I promise -not- to do that.
More than once.
So to be determined: this would spark a lot of joy for me... not necessarily for Angela, but her car already has GPS and a backup cam, aye?! I'll tap dance with her on the price-to-joy proposition and see where it goes. Angela asked "does it even have drink holders" to which I replied, yea... cop drink holders right behind the cop switch console.
Whelp, "the Toyota" runs great but isn't working out. Rebranding Madison's car to 'the Camry' is like referring to her bedroom as the 'guest' room, same with her bathroom. Madi's bedroom will always be her room while we're living in this house. We gave away her bedroom set: it would seem weird to me walking past her room everyday with the visual appearance that she's just at her moms for the weekend. As quirky as it sounds, I do go in her room every morning and whisper g'morning Shug as I open her drapes, and g'night Shug as I close them. Her ashes are hung in a bag on the curtain rod, so it's light and bright during the day, dark at night... just how she liked it
We're selling Madison's car -not- only because it was hers but because we don't really like it. Yes, it has very low miles with a 100k extended warranty but being very tall, it's cramped. Add to that my observations are the people who drive one are mostly younger women. Madison wanted something fuel efficient, so we decided on a Camry. (She initially had a romance with the idea of a Prius... until she drove one : ) The vehicle I'd like to replace her car with would have an irresponsible amount of horsepower. The other car Angela and I have now is a Korean Lexus (actually a Hyundai Genesis), a 300 HP V6 and very comfortable full-sized car that scoots along nicely and gets great mileage considering its size. Personally I'd like an early 70's El Camino SS with a 454, but then I look at the chaps driving those and they're older dudes with ponytails. It's obvious most have no AC because I see their hair blowing around with the windows open on hot days, and these chaps are almost always driving alone. Ideally we get something Angela and I both would like... that isn't a convertible WV bug or some other 'chick' car. Angela's thinking a used two-seat Mercedes convertible, so we'll be finding common ground on something we can pretty much trade straight across for. Instead of an El Camino SS, perhaps Angela will go for an early 70s era Ranchero with a 427, 4 speed... but with AC!
On chordoma (more in the thread below): there's a young woman who recently passed away who had the same 1:20,000,000 rare sub-type that Madison had, poorly differentiated. She had been through the same (clinical) trials and tribulations as Madison, including the immunotherapy. She and I had exchanged emails when her treatments failed to suspend the progression of her disease, and she chose chemo as a last ditch effort. I'll never forget the absolute bravery Madison displayed when she chose not to try chemo in late 2017. Asking all of the right questions, the odds slowing down the progression were minimal, suspending the progression was 5%, and being curative prompted the discussion that "this disease will likely run it's course" conversation. I think the young woman who recently passed may have tried chemo as a last-ditch effort not only for herself, but perhaps for her family as well, the old 'fighting cancer' adage and 'not giving up 'the fight'. She did tell her dad that "you should really talk to Chris", and we'd spoken on the phone and emailed before her passing, and have emailed since. He'd written that he'll call in me the next week or two. His daughter's disease ran it's course too. There will be a point in time for all of us that we will face mortal death, and will need to come to terms with how we choose to stay/live factoring in both duration and quality of life remaining, and ultimately how/where we would like to 'go'. Angela and I squabble over who goes first, neither wanting to be the second to go. When it's time, perhaps we'll rent a plane and try and fly it upside-down through a barn "Second Hand Lions". Until that time comes and of the utmost importance, we've better learned how to live and to always have something fun to look forward to. Hashtag 'fun'. As we plan out next getaway, we determine the budget and duration. Puerto Vallarta is always nice, but we haven't been to Maui in years. Do we go to Hawaii for five days, or back to Mexico for 10? TBD... we may look for a cruise too.
Shifting gears: We still share custody of Bailey, M-F tour house and weekends at moms, just like Madi since late in high school. Angela and I decided to try a Rumba style sweeper, but an off-brand that was only $139 and came with a 30 day full refund if we're not thrilled. It wakes up at a pre-programed time daily, runs for two hours, then self-docks in the charging station (most of the time). Our house is always tidy, but with four pets that shed a lot this time of the year and with doors and our windows open, the hair and dust that it collects every day is amazing, and a fun dog toy too.
My mom found an outstanding nonprofit organization called the Conejo Valley Village, part of the Village to Village Network with the mantra being neighbors helping neighbors. For a nominal monthly fee, volunteers pick up elderly members and take them to doctor appointments, walk their dogs, help de-clutter their homes, host social events... dinners, various outings, and even happy hour gatherings. One of the volunteers recently sent an inventory of aged foods that she was tossing out from my mom's house, an impressive list (in a slightly disturbing way) but also being a fine example that she can get away with stuff that we 'kids' cannot with our elderly parents. Anne (the volunteer) and my mom were recently discussing the Marie Kondo 'joy' of tidying up, and pondering that my mom could get rid of some stuff. Angela and I had seen Marie Kondo's program on NetFlix, the mantra being if you have things that no longer bring you joy, thank them, then get rid of them. Angela was recently in Princeton for 10 days so I decided that was the time! I went through clothes and shoes that I'll no longer wear, and thanked each one for bringing me past joy, and then off to Good Will. Next, the pantry. I found stuff down low and way in the back that needed to go. There's Jambalaya, four boxes! Since the pantry would look very different when she got home, I prepped Angela letting her know that I'd tossed out some old stuff showing her this picture. She said pasta and rice is good for a very long time, but I told her that I thanked the Jambalaya before I tossed it, thanking each box for offering to feed and nourish us...
... when we were in our 40s. Huh, and actually I got away with it, thanks Marie!
And a special thanks and kudos to the Conejo Valley Village People for helping enable my mom and other senior members who can safely live alone by giving them a sense of independence from their dependents. Angela and I simply couldn't comfortably be away for weeks at a time without their dedicated volunteers and the tribal elders who keep it all together.
As I'd previously written at this link I had the privilege of attending a Chordoma Foundation (CF) meeting/gathering in Durham NC last November. I was reviewing my notes from that meeting and I had forgotten to write something promising here that I heard one researcher say to another... "it's a good time to be a mouse". I had to think about that for a minute.
We coordinated sending the pleural effusion fluid here locally to a Chordoma Foundation scientist named Patty. At the NC gathering, Patty mentioned they're making headway on the cell line.
I received an email from Patty last week: They were able to establish a formal cell line from Madison's disease, which will be sent to the CF's biobank repository in the coming weeks. This is significant. My understanding is there’s only one other cell line with some poorly diff characteristics, but it’s a blend of classic chordoma with some INI1 proteins (poorly diff is INI1 negative). While there are a dozen plus chordoma cell lines, I believe Madison’s may be the first poorly differentiated (aka pediatric) cell line established globally. There's another poorly diff cell line the queue to be validated, but in the coming weeks Madison's cell line will be available to vetted and funded researchers globally. More about chordoma sub-types here, and I love that picture of Madi! Back in 2013 when she was diagnosed, there was very limited data about how to treat her 1 in 20,000,000 subtype. Looking ahead, there's a clinic at NIH in April focused specifically on kids and young adults impacted by pediatric chordoma.
So our girl has cells that are now scientifically immortal in the form of a cell line... cells that keep dividing. In Patty's recent email to me, she closed with "Madison's beautiful personality has touched many, maybe now her cells will rock the research world".
Chordoma is a solvable problem, and Madison's scientific legacy can help save lives being a part of the solution. Reflecting back to Madison learning to 'use her words' as a toddler, this is very happy to my feelings.
Love and peace,
Last week Angela and I were watching the movie Bohemiam Rhapsody which was excellent; the story of how a young man became a true music legend against all odds. I knew Freddie Mercury died of AIDS, or complications of, but seeing his character played explaining it to his band members had Angela and me choking back tears. As Freddie explained it to his mates, there was a sense of 'okay now that that's out in the open, let's get on with it'. It reminded me of incredibly difficult conversations that Madison had and what I perceived as Madison's attitude being okay-then, now let's move past it. In November 2016 when fluid was building up in the pleura (sack surrounding her right lung) there wasn't spoken or unspoken alarm by her doctors. Colleen and Michael were about to take a dream vacation abroad and they were ushered away by Madison, 'there's no reason not to go mom'. Colleen and Michael were in Tahiti when the analysis of the fluids came back with brachyury. Do we call Colleen and ruin the rest of her vacation? Knowing her, she would have been on the next flight out and if flights had been full, she would have started swimming. Madison decided she wanted her mom to enjoy her vacation while suspecting that Colleen might be upset -not- knowing, Madison knew she was welcome to throw me under the bus and say dad wouldn't allow it. That's sooo not-Madison, but I figured I'd put the offer on the table. When Colleen got home, Madison explained what was going on with unbelievable courage with her eyes full of tears knowing how it would affect her mom.
As Madison had once written, she and the monster hiding under her bed were face-to-face. That's a tough conversation to have with anyone, much less your mom. "Hi Mom, I missed you and BTW, and (gulp, pause) we got the results back from the lab. Madison was so incredibly brave during that moment, and countless others.
The scene in Bohemiam Rhapsody reminded me of Madison telling her mom in 2016. Make no mistake there were tears because brachyury officially made it a metastasis of chordoma, but now that she's past that part of the awareness, Madi went to Colorado to snowmobile and went ice fishing with her dear friends. There's a picture of Madison holding a fish, with photos of other children and young adults pictured who have chordoma. What amazing lessons these kids taught their parents. Okay, now that that's out of the way... onward, which beats crawling in to a corner and sucking your thumb in fear or uncertainty. That was a tough conversation in 2016, and another seemingly impossible conversation in late 2017... that there were no chances to cure her disease... it's going to run it's course. Madison had that conversation with everybody who loves her, which is what prompted my thoughts seeing Freddie tell the other members of Queen. If I silently weep watching a movie like Bohemiam Rhapsody, Lord help me and the people around me when I finally see A Star is Born.
In the spirit of living, loving, and laughing, Angela and I went to Palm Springs last week and drove through old neighborhoods which felt like we were transported back to 1962. Appropriately, we had an Elvis CD playing in the car and toured inside a really cool retro home. The next day we went to a huge factory outlet mall and walked over five miles there in bargain-hunting mode. It seemed impossible: stores had 50% + 25% off sales, so 75% off. Spending a combined total of about $40, off to Morengo Casino for some lightweight gambling and as luck would have it, they have an all you can eat steak and lobster-fest on Thursday nights! Stuffed to our gills, we went back to the room before an evening of penny slots and a blackjack table or two. I turned on a news channel and plopped on the bed for a few minutes to catch up on the latest 'breaking news' and there they were. TV commercials obviously target their audiences, but watching the news then, there were commercials for erectile dysfunction and catheters. Nothing against either commercial or product, I imagine we'll all get there one way or another... coming or going. Okay then, TV off, we're not that old yet and off to the casino with a lesson learned: watching 'breaking news' targets people a lot older than I plan on being for a long time, so if a commercial pops up similar to those, it's time to go outside or at the very least get up and do something.
Last week our house-sitter was booked so mama bear Colleen took the dogs in our absence and tended to our cats too. She sent me the funniest picture. If you put lipstick on a pig... it's still a pig.
Colleen sometimes walks Bailey in a playground where kids write with sidewalk chalk. Bailey being the curious soul that she is and probably hoping someone left a pile of bacon unattended, she sniffed her way close enough to get chalk in her lips looking like the little miss piggy that she is.
Like everyone who loves and misses Madison, moms and I think of her every day too. Angela and I recently joined and actually go to a gym, which I think would make Madison proud. When it does become time for catheters and boner pills, I'd wager an approval in some form from Madi as well, and ideally from Angela as well... til death do us part ;-)