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And, It’s Almost Thanksgiving

I don’t know where time goes, but it just POOF! disappears.

I have some family here now, and more arriving today, and more arriving tomorrow.

I’ll be super busy through the end of Thanksgiving weekend.


Beautiful Southern California Sunset

My arm is bad and there’s really not much more to say.

If I do *anything* it hurts MORE.

The hole (??) in my arm seems to be getting bigger which is not good.

It’s very freaky to have a giant hole in my arm.

I’m visiting with Dr. Painless today, but I don’t expect there’s much he can do without drugging me into oblivion.

I don’t want that, of course.

I want to be PRESENT, and aware, and alert while my family is here.

(He’ll probably give me a shot in the a$$ of non-narcotic drugs.)

I have all the groceries here now for a huge Thanksgiving feast …

I sure hope everybody in my family feels like cooking?

If not, I guess I’ll just open a bunch of wine.

In any case, I plan on having the best time I possibly can while everyone’s here.

In addition to The Big Dinner, I hope to get our whole group out to a movie – maybe James Bond?

And do some hiking along the bluffs!

And, and, and …!

I might be downing entire bottles of Advil?

I probably won’t be blogging much, if at all, the next few days.

(I will if I get some quiet time, but that probably isn’t very likely?)

If you’re celebrating,

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Update …

The blog will be down much of the weekend due to maintenance by my provider.

But, I wanted to post a brief update because I know many of you are (very kindly) concerned about me after reading today’s earlier post.

I don’t know if you will even see this until Monday?

My orthopedic surgeon examined my arm Friday morning and agreed it definitely has a hole in it.

He thinks the deltoid muscle has torn and the rest of my arm is a bit beat up too.

He wants me to get an MRI, and I probably will be doing that after my family has left …

I’ll have people here for the next week.

A tear can heal by itself if it isn’t too horrible and if everything is still attached.

Without an MRI we don’t know how bad it is and/or whether it’s fully attached or not.

(Having a visible hole in my arm isn’t a great sign though.)

Healing without surgery would, of course,  be the best case scenario.

But, even then, it takes a long timesix weeks to four months depending on the tear.

I’m, obviously, pretty bummed out.

I know it does no good to be upset about things you can’t change,

But I’d be lying if I said I was anything other than depressed about this.

(Being in a lot of pain doesn’t help the situation.)

However, I’m very grateful I’ve got a strong medical support team.

If I’m going to have to go through MORE,

It’s good to know I’ve got great people to help me through whatever I have to deal with.

I’m not sure what my blogging schedule will be over the next week.

Family visiting, holidays, pain meds, etc. …

But, if I get a chance to post I will.

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Don’t Be Devastated??

I got some bad news yesterday.

I’ve been told I should *not* feel devastated until more information is gathered.

So, I’m pretending to not be upset even though I can feel a black cloud looming overhead.

My arm has been exceptionally bad for about a week and a half.

For several years, my bum arm has been fine from the elbow down.

And my right HAND has always worked fine.

But, over the last ten days I’ve been in a lot of pain and not able to do anything with my right arm.

Holding something very light in my right hand has become impossible.

It has been “new” pain and “different” pain.

And yes, there really is a whole rainbow assortment of TYPES OF PAIN.

Yesterday, at physical therapy, Paul Newman discovered a very unnatural HOLE in my arm.

The hole is covered by skin, but instead of a normal smooth arm there is a sudden, significant, HOLE right under my skin.

Paul Newman was alarmed because he knows every bit of my arm as well (or better) than I do.

The hole in my arm is NEW.

(Yes, you heard that right, Paul Newman discovered and explored my mystery hole yesterday.)

There could be more than one explanation for the hole in my arm, but none of them are good.

I’m meeting with my orthopedic surgeon this morning to get his opinion on this new (bad) development.

(He’s totally awesome and is seeing me right away!)

It’s very possible I have torn and/or ruptured “something” in my bum arm.

How would I do this?

Well, since my arm has many non-working parts, the working parts of my arm have to compensate for the non-working ones.

The working parts of my arm are, therefore, under a lot of constant/ongoing stress due to overuse.

I ask the working parts to work HARD and to do things they are not designed to do.

If I have a muscle and/or tendon tear/rupture it’s most likely inoperable.

That means ….?

I *might* be like this forever …?

I *might* have lost the little bit of use of my arm/hand I had …?

I don’t want to even consider the possibility of this new/different/higher level of pain being permanent.

Of COURSE this had to happen the day before my family begins arriving for Thanksgiving.

Paul Newman is trying to talk me off the ledge by telling me I need to talk to my surgeon before flipping out.

My surgeon is trying to talk me off the ledge by seeing me quickly, and telling me there could be more than one cause for this new calamity.

My family is trying to talk me off the ledge by offering to help cook for Thanksgiving.

I might know more after seeing my orthopedic surgeon this morning.

Or he might want to schedule an MRI before he gives his opinion?

Regardless, I’ll let you know once I learn more.

In the meantime,

I’m chanting quietly, “Do not cry, do not cry, do not cry!”

I can get through anything, right?

**  Twenty Four At Heart will be down for maintenance, off and on, over the weekend.  **

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More Favorite Things

I’m sharing more of my favorite gift ideas today.

•  For the housebound — If you have someone in your life who is confined to bed or their home, consider sending them a cheerful holiday bouquet.  It will brighten their immediate surroundings, and spirits, at the same time.  Many times, people who are ill or too frail to leave home are stuck in dreary surroundings.  Florists can do amazing things this time of year … tabletop Christmas trees, poinsettias, etc.  The recipient will be grateful and they will think of you every time they look at it.

•  Jigsaw Puzzles — Jigsaw puzzles come in a huge variety of designs these days … and in a large range of difficulty.  With El Nino expected soon, people will be looking for more indoor activities.  Who can resist a puzzle once it’s been dumped from its box onto a tabletop?  Do you think you could complete this candy wrapper puzzle?  Puzzles are fun, inexpensive, and a great gift for both an individual and/or as a family gift.


•  Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brushes/Systems  —  Clarisonic now makes a variety of facial cleansing systems.  (And, many companies have come out with Clarisonic knock offs.)  This is the type of thing a lot of people would hesitate spending money on to buy themselves.  But …?  That’s the very thing that makes it a great gift.  I love using my Clarisonic.  It gets my skin so much cleaner than using a washcloth.  (The key to using a Clarisonic is to let it glide over your skin and NOT to use pressure to push it into your skin.)  It also helps your skin absorb whatever skincare products you use after cleansing.  Who doesn’t appreciate a good skincare tool?


•  A framed photo  —  A framed photo is a great, inexpensive, very meaningful, gift.  You can’t go wrong with a silver frame.  Add in a photo of a shared memory, or a loved family member, or pet, and you’ve got a great gift.


•  Kate Spade anything  —  Kate Spade is very popular right now, and with good reason.  Almost everything she designs is adorable, pretty, useful, or all of the above.  Depending on your gift budget, you might select a Kate Spade coffee mug for someone on your gift list.  If you’ve got a big budget, go for one of the very popular Kate Spade handbags.



•  North Face Etip Gloves  —  North Face makes excellent cold weather products.  Even in Southern California, we occasionally have reason to wear gloves.  I love these Etip gloves because they allow you to use your electronic devices without removing them.  They’re available for both men and women.


•  Fitbit Zip  —  Who doesn’t want to get healthy after indulging during the holidays?  I’ve mentioned the Fitbit Zip before.  It’s a great gift for men or women.  I like the small size.  You can tuck it in a pocket, bra, purse and/or clip it to your pants.  Sure, the bigger tracking devices like the bracelets can “do” more, but it seems like most people tire of wearing them after awhile.  I still like the zip!  Are you getting the recommended 10,000 steps each day?


And that’s it for today.

If you have any additional ideas, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section!

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And Then …

I’m crazy busy right now which must mean the holidays are approaching.

Yes, I did get quite wet taking this beach sunset photo.

I’ve begun working on my next “Favorites” post and it should (hopefully) be up tomorrow.

Of course, I’m also in the midst of Pain Horror because that is what ALWAYS seems to happen this time of year.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now?

Fred is keeping me busy also.

Fred is a Newfie adolescent now, and like a human adolescent …

Fred only listens when he feels it’s in his best interest.

Fred CAN be a perfect Newf when he feels like it.

“When he feels like it” is not, however, good enough.

Yesterday, Fred met up with his adorable Newfie cousin Dexter and Fred/Dexter’s dog trainer.

Dexter is still an obedient puppy.

Fred is a headstrong teenager.

The trainer gave me some helpful tips.

I know I’ll be doing more training sessions as we go through this phase of Fred’s development.

I’ve been told the next few months are the most challenging as a Newfie parent.

Supposedly, once Fred reaches age two – the rest will be easy.


Don’t get me wrong,

Fred is still his lovable self.

And, he’s really well behaved ninety percent of the time.

But, when he’s not well behaved …

He’s REALLY not well behaved.

It’s part of the process and I know we’ll end up where we want to be in time.

I’ve got another overbooked day today.

I’ll try to get some up to date photos of Fred for you this week.

And, barring technical problems, I’ll have a “Favorites” post published tomorrow.

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Monday Musing

Like many people, I have fond memories of Paris.

My heart is sad at the thought of the recent terrorism attacks there.

There is so much BAD in this world …. sometimes it’s hard to remember the GOOD.

FullSizeRender 60

Fred snuggles with a blanket on the couch.

For me, I try to focus on the positives so the bad stuff doesn’t drag me into an emotional abyss.

I watch Fred with his goofy antics and smile.

I think about my kids and concentrate on how grateful I am for them.

And, as always, I drink in the beauty of my surroundings.

Coastal shot taken at San Onofre

I’m lucky to live in a beautiful location and I never, ever, take it for granted.

I’ve got a lot of *stuff* going on in my life lately … which is why I seem to be failing at regular blog posts.

The hand on my right arm works fine even if my arm itself doesn’t.

But, apparently, my ongoing attempts to “do everything” with my hand vs. my arm has added up to one big FAIL.

(Paul Newman worded it more nicely than that, but …!)

I’m  having all sorts of pain in NEW places in my arm and I can’t seem to do anything at all now …

Not even the little bit I could do before.

I’m frustrated, in pain, and struggling to do the simplest of things.

I feel like I’ve gone back in time.

Hopefully it’s a temporary setback and not a permanent situation?

Ugh – just in time for the holidays when I have four hundred bazillion things to do.

(And yes, I will be calling Dr. Painless today to see if he can help me out.)

Also, I apologize again to everyone I owe emails/texts/phone calls to.

I’m behind on EVERYTHING right now.

Speaking of the holidays, my daughter and I went out “idea shopping” over the weekend.

We were professional browsers.

The purpose of our day was to gather ideas for holiday gifts.

Have you ever noticed, it’s so much harder to come up with gift ideas for men than it is for women?

(Especially if the men don’t have any hobbies!)

If you have any good “male” ideas, I’d love to hear them.

I plan to have a post up this week with more of my favorite things.

I definitely added to my favorites list while out browsing.

Maybe one of my favorites will be a good idea for someone on your gift list?

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The Blur of a Week

I’m having a crazy week.

Crazy in that …

I’ve *maybe* gotten six hours of sleep in the last three days.

I continue to have some technical problems with my blog.

Also, I received a precautionary vaccine in preparation for international travel ….

But, had a weird reaction to it.

What I’m trying to say is,

My week is not going very smoothly!

But that’s okay because it won’t be long until the week is over, right?

(All I can really think about right now is getting some sleep.)

In other news:

•  I think Jordan Smith (contestant on The Voice) is one of the most amazing singers I’ve ever heard.

•  A woman saw me walking Fred yesterday, picked up her child and RAN away!  Seriously??  I admit, I sort of wanted to run after her with Fred loping at my side just to see what she would do.

•  I’m working on getting the blog fixed (again), hopefully, today.  I’ll be back tomorrow if it gets fixed.

Ugh … it is SO frustrating!

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A Baby Bird And A Giant Dog

Fred seems to be providing stories for me on a daily basis lately.

FR © 2015 Suzanne Haggerty W

Fred The Newf

Yesterday, I returned home in the late morning.

Fred gave me a warm welcome and then went outside to drink from his water bucket.

A moment later, I looked outside and saw him standing quite still, lurking over something.

I thought, at first, he was taunting a lizard.

But then, I saw Fred was actually staring intently at a small, baby, robin which was between his two front legs.

The bird had seen giant Fred and, instead of attempting to fly away, froze on the spot.

I gasped at the sight of Gigantic Fred with the small, delicate, baby bird.

Fred was five hundred percent focused on his new friend/toy and it was clear, from his wagging tail, he wanted to PLAY with it.

“Leave it,” I commanded Fred.

But, right as I vocalized the command, the baby bird hopped forward a couple feet.

Fred was overjoyed.

This game had become FUN!

He was instantly hovering (lurking!) over the baby bird again.

He waited patiently to see what the baby bird would do.

“Touch,” I said.

Touch is the command Fred ALWAYS obeys.

Touch means he gets a free treat for doing nothing but coming to get it.

But, Fred had become deaf.

Fred gave no indication of having heard me at all.

I was shocked … Fred has never NOT responded to “touch.”

As I tried to digest Fred’s outright dismissal of me, the baby bird hopped forward again.

Fred was instantly bounding after it.

I turned away to grab Fred’s collar/leash which was just a step away.

With my back turned, I heard a bit of a commotion and then the squeaks of the baby bird.

I was afraid to turn around and see the fate of the bird.

But, I did turn.

Fred stood at attention staring at me in delight –

With a full mouth, and his jowls clamped shut.

I heard a squeak from inside his closed mouth.

“Drop!” I ordered.

Fred spit out the baby bird.

Then Fred gave me a look … clearly, VERY disappointed with me.

I slipped Fred’s collar/leash on him and walked him into the house.

As I did so, I watched the baby bird take a couple small hops.

I sighed with relief.

In a millisecond it took flight and perched in one of my backyard trees.

Later in the day, I saw it again and I knew, for certain, it was FINE.

Fred was fine, too, of course.

I noticed him looking around for his new friend every time he went out during the remainder of the day.

Baby Bird is Fred’s favorite toy ever.

Me …?

Well, I was traumatized by the incident.

Life with Fred is a never-ending ADVENTURE.

I wonder what today will bring?

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The Old Man And A Dog

I’m recovering from a few days of sick time.

Nothing serious, of course.

Just my annual fall Santa-Ana-Winds induced sinus and respiratory infection.

My cough sounds like a deep, enormous, foghorn.


My family doc was kind enough to call some medication in for me over the weekend with the promise I would come in and see him this morning.

Anyway, I will be fine in a day or two.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a recent story.

Last week, I took Fred to a nearby park for a walk.

Fred is bigger than most humans so he always attracts a lot of attention.

I noticed an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair looking, curiously, towards Fred.

The elderly man had a medical aide with him.

The aide was sitting on a bench nearby, looking at his iphone, and ignoring the old man.

It appeared the elderly man was in very poor health.

He looked lonely, sad, and very frail.

I have a weakness for old men.  I don’t know why, but I always have.

I took Fred over for a visit.

I approached slowly and, at first, kept Fred a small distance away from the man and his wheelchair.

The old man begged me to bring Fred closer so he could feel his soft coat.

I did.

The elderly man was elated.

He pet Fred for a long time.

Fred behaved perfectly.  I was SO proud of him!

Fred, eventually, rested his big gigantic head on the man’s lap and very gently “kissed” his hand.

The man BEAMED.

He had made a new friend named Fred, and it made his day.

Even the medical aide had put aside his phone to come meet Fred.

The aide became engaged, and was clearly thrilled to see the old man’s response to Fred.

I was feeling like a good person for noticing the elderly man and how sad/alone he seemed.

I was proud of Fred for, instinctively, knowing to be extra gentle with the frail man.

After a fairly long visit, I began making our goodbyes.

I leaned down to adjust Fred’s collar.

And, when I looked up …?

I saw the elderly man was staring down my shirt – taking in an unobstructed view of my cleavage.


It instantly ruined my illusion of altruism.

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Things I Like Lately

Over the next few weeks, I plan to have a few “favorite things” posts for you.

I’d also love to hear from you, if you have a favorite thing you’d like to share.

It’s fun to talk about things we like around the holidays.

You just never know when someone might mention the perfect gift for your Aunt Beatrice.

It’s possible a few of these items are “repeats” from year’s past.

If it’s still a favorite, I think it’s still worth sharing.

•  Nars Audacious Mascara  –  I’ve been testing zillions of mascaras lately and this is my current favorite.  I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many I’ve experimented with.  (And, because I have so many I often layer different brands.)  But, this is the mascara that manages to make my short, blonde, eyelashes noticeable.  I will probably “always” experiment with new mascaras, but right now – this one’s it for me.


•  OPI Chocolate Moose Nail Polish  –  OK, this is a weird one because I rarely wear colored nail polish on my fingernails.  But, I’ve been wearing this on my toes lately and I like it a lot.  I have fair skin so really light, and/or really dark, colors don’t look great on me.  This is a nice medium brown.  I might even try it on my fingernails soon!


•  Continuing with one more beauty item, I must also mention Trish McEvoy’s Instant Eye Lift.  You can watch YouTube videos on how to apply it if you can’t find a store sales consultant near you.  It’s like a liquid concealer/highlighter.  You make an upside down triangle with it under your eye/s.  Then you blend it in with your fingers, a brush, or a cosmetic sponge.  If you wear foundation you would apply it over Instant Eye Lift.  It’s a great product if you have dark circles under your eyes, if you’re tired, if you’re old, or if you just want to brighten up your look while giving the illusion of being awake and open eyed.  For me, this is like magic in a bottle.


•  If you like to lounge around your house (or know someone who does!), it doesn’t get much more comfortable than an Urban Muu Muu.  These were one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” awhile back.  I gave a few as gifts at the time, and also snagged one for myself.  I still LOVE mine, and I’ve been told repeatedly how loved they are by the people I gifted them to.  Sexy?  No.  Comfy?  YES!!  I do wish they weren’t quite so expensive, but considering I wear mine all the time …. it’s been worth the cost.  They come short or long.  I have the short one.  You *could* wear it out and about over leggings, but I usually just wear mine around the house.  It’s snuggly!


•  I’ve had a “new” favorite coffee for close to a year now.  Last Christmas, I was gifted a pound of Intelligentsia Classic Espresso.  I haven’t been able to go back to drinking anything else ever since.  I order the whole beans and it delivers via UPS a few days later.  I think I’ll cry if they ever stop making this coffee.  (I can’t even get near Starbucks coffee now.)


•  Yankee Candle:  Home Sweet Home  This is my favorite scented candle.  I enjoy many candles, but I always come back to “Home Sweet Home.”  It is cinnamon-y, but smells better than “just” a cinnamon candle.  I love it!  I’ve been purchasing them for YEARS.  I just realized I’m running low and will need to pick up a couple right away.  I can’t go through the holidays without my house filled with this scent ….!


OK, that’s probably PLENTY for one post.

I’ll try to do a similar post again soon.

Also, I really do love it when you share with me things you enjoy also.

So many of us will be purchasing gifts in the upcoming weeks …

We might as well help each other out with gift ideas!