Tuesday, May 26, 2009

not exactly the holiday weekend we had planned...

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
--- John Lennon (1940-1980)

Hi there! Hope you enjoyed the long holiday weekend...

For us, the weekend was long, but not completely a holiday. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, Buddy had a sudden and unexpected reaction to the chemo, so he was in and out of the animal hospital several times between Thursday morning and Saturday. We were scared, hoping his white blood cell count would come up. Thankfully, he recovered and is again energetic, eating well, and is apparently feeling good. Just in time for his second chemo treatment later this week, poor thing.

Although we didn't get to Orlando (I had planned to attend a Scrapbook Expo, Sal and I were going to SeaWorld, etc. etc.), we did have some fun! We had an extended visit with my parents while we all tended to Buddy.

And on Monday, as planned, my Mom and I headed to Tampa for some shopping. After much anticipation, Crate & Barrel opened their new store in Tampa this weekend! It's a huge 2-story 33,000 square foot building full of C&B goodness! We had a really good time browsing ... it's one of my most favorite stores. I hadn't been to C&B in quite a while, so I treated myself to this Raffia vase that caught my eye with its unique texture and "beachy" decor appeal. Love it!

And then a lucky break ... we stopped at The Scrapbook Shoppe, where they were having an incredible sale --- 43% off the ENTIRE store to celebrate the owner's 43rd birthday. It was crowded with crazed scrappers (including me) grabbing steals and deals! The checkout line was 45 minutes to an hour wait, whoa!

All in all, a good weekend. Best of all, Buddy's better. And Orlando will always be there.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

it's Marisa's special day!

Happy 9th birthday today to our niece, Marisa! She lives in Gulfport, Florida.

Have a FUN & FABULOUS day, Marisa! :-)

Aunt Susan, Uncle Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Friday, May 22, 2009

change of plans.....

Hi everyone ... I really thought I'd be blogging from Orlando right now ... but plans quickly changed when Buddy started feeling bad Wednesday night. We arrived at my parents house, and he just wasn't himself ... lethargic, no appetite, feverish. So, since then, he has been in and out of a local animal hospital here near my parents'. Of course, we immediately canceled our entire weekend in Orlando to be with him and to help him recover.

Thankfully, tonight he is showing signs of turning around. It seems that he had a delayed reaction to the chemotherapy. Poor Buddy! And I had a stomach ache from worry! He's here with us at my parents' tonight, resting ... and he ate dinner, hurray!

This is not what any of us planned ... Buddy & Aruba were supposed to be having a fun-filled weekend with "Grandma & Grandpa" while Sal and I got a little R&R in Orlando. Hopefully we can some other time.

Buddy will get one more blood test at the vet Saturday morning, and then hopefully he can enjoy some fun time this weekend.

Sorry ... wish I had some fun pics and details to post instead!

Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm dancing on the ceiling

"Hello", is it Lionel Richie you're looking for?

If so, you'll "truly" want to tune in or set your TiVo or DVR ... he'll be on 3 shows, all within a week:

tomorrow night (May 21) on The Tonight Show (Jay Leno)

Tuesday, May 26 on Larry King Live on CNN

Friday, May 29 on Good Morning America (he'll be performing LIVE in Central Park, NYC)
No doubt he'll be promoting his newly-released album, Just Go. Can't wait! I have an "endless love" for his incredible voice! :-)

One of LR's biggest fans,

heading to Orlando!

Hi there ~ wow, it's Wednesday already, this week is flying by!

Today we're heading out to start the Memorial Day weekend early! We'll visit my parents tonight and then Buddy & Aruba will stay with them while Sal and I head off to Orlando for a few days. We've got LOTS of exciting things planned, our weekend is packed, but I'll do my best to sneak in a blog post now and then. Florida is getting soaked in torrential rains right now (have you seen it on the news???, we're getting drenched here!!!), but that's supposed to taper off by Friday, and I sure hope so!

Buddy could use some fun with "Grandma & Grandpa". He is doing OK, but has been a bit down the past couple of days. And we often have to coax him to eat. Some days are better than others for him ... such are the ups and downs of chemo I guess. Next week he'll get his 2nd treatment. Buddy is so brave, our little angel!

I'll catch you back here soon, from Orlando.

Enjoy the holiday,

Friday, May 15, 2009

it's Jonathan's special day!

Happy 18th birthday today to my nephew, Jonathan! He lives in Gulfport, Florida.

We wish you FUN and SMILES on this special milestone day.

Aunt Susan, Uncle Sal, Buddy & Aruba

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Hi there ... sorry, I guess I never did get back here to let you know why May 12 is so special to me and Sal. It's the day --- 21 years ago! --- that we became a couple, began dating. And we usually celebrate the day somehow. We had planned to spend the afternoon at the beach, but neither of us were feeling very good. Oh well, that's life right?

I'm still fighting with this jaw pain, which now includes pain in my ear too. I've been to the dentist & my doctor ... they both seem to think that it's temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) ... not what I wanted to hear. Adding to my aggravation is the fact that there's no "cure" for it, and there are no medical or dental "specialists" who treat it (even my doctor warned me about seeking treatment from so-called "TMJ specialists"). So, I just keep popping Advils and for lack of anyone else to consult with, I'll probably make an appointment with an oral surgeon (which I dread). I've had this pain for over a month now so I've gotta do something. If you or anyone you know suffers with TMJ, I'd be curious to know how to cope with it? I sure miss chewing on my left side ... and yawning!

On the bright side, Buddy seems to be doing OK after his first chemo treatment. He's pretty chipper, although his appetite is still a bit off. I often need to coax him to eat, or even hand feed him. That's so unlike him, a beagle who literally INHALED his food before he was sick. But, I'm encouraged that he's at least eating. His next round of chemo isn't until the end of May, so he has a little reprieve from it all. Poor angel.

I also found out that another scrapbooking magazine that I subscribe to will be folding this summer. Memory Makers magazine announced that the September issue will be their last. It's sad because they were one of the first sb'ing mags to hit newsstands, back in the 90s. Geez, my hobby is really taking a beating in this sour economy!

bye for now,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Hi there & happy Monday!

I hope all the Moms out there enjoyed their Mother's Day holiday. Sal and I spent the weekend in St. Petersburg with our Moms and families. We took Sal's Mom out for breakfast, then later brought Buddy & Aruba over for a visit (they were obviously very interested in something in the yard next door):
We also took my Mom out to eat, to one of our fave places, The Sea Porch Cafe at that iconic pink palace, the Don CeSar Beach Resort. We enjoyed a late breakfast al fresco since the weather was absolutely gorgeous, picture perfect ... temp in the mid-80s, tons of bright sunshine & blue skies. Afterwards we walked along St. Pete Beach, so pleasant.
Even I got in on the Mother's Day action ... I am a Dog Mom after all, right? [notice my T-shirt, LOL]
The best part of the celebrations for me, though, was that Buddy was well enough to travel and be part of the Mother's Day fun, despite having his first chemotherapy treatment last Thursday. Both "grandmas" were excited to see their "grand dogs" and to celebrate Buddy's recovery. He seemed to feel quite good all weekend, soaking in all the attention and pampering, with the only apparent chemo side effect being a finicky appetite. Today he had to rest from all the fun!
Tomorrow is a really special day for me and Sal. Curious? I'll be back with the details ...

Have a great week,

Thursday, May 7, 2009

more treatments for Buddy

Today Sal and I met with Buddy's oncologist (cancer specialist). After reviewing Buddy's case, she believes the best course of treatment for him now is chemotherapy. Although I'm disappointed that Buddy will have to endure more medical treatment, it seems that it's what will give him the best long-term prognosis.

He already had his first round of chemo today. We started it right away because if the cancer is already spreading and/or growing, we want to get rid of it! So, he'll get another round of chemo 3 weeks from now, and then 4 more rounds after that, every 3 weeks. The doses will alternate between 2 different injectable cancer drugs. When the injectables are done, he'll take oral cancer meds for 6 months to a year.

The good news is that, unlike humans, dogs seem to endure the effects of chemo OK. They don't lose all their fur, and at worst Buddy might have a bit of nausea, perhaps some diarrhea, or a decreased appetite. But we have meds to offset those symptoms.

We're hoping that these treatments will keep any cells (that broke away from the lung tumor) from growing into another tumor elsewhere in his body. Buddy is strong and healthy aside from the cancer, thankfully, so our hopes are high that he'll live a long and happy life with us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

a great idea is taking flight

Finally, finally, finally! A way for animals to (safely) fly to join their human companions when they travel!

Have you heard about this?

There's a new airline starting up that flies only animals ... in the passenger cabin (actually, they call it the "pawsenger" cabin - cute!), and not in the cargo compartment. It's called Pet Airways, and it's based right here in Delray Beach, Florida!
Here's how it works (Buddy is wondering if they offer in-flight meals? ha ha). For now, they fly between major airports like L.A., Denver, Chicago, NY, DC, etc. but they plan to expand their route map.

Even better, they've partnered with Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (that's the one Sal and I visited in Utah) and will be a resource for the Sanctuary when they need to relocate rescued animals. Read all about it. How fantastic!

This new airline is a wonderful concept for those of us who would never put our precious pups in cargo, nor do we own a private jet to fly them with us in the main cabin. I wish this new business tons of success.

So don't be surprised if you see Buddy & Aruba launching their own Where In The World? travel blog! *wink*

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I won the lottery!

No, not THAT lottery ... perhaps a lottery that's just as exciting though! A few days ago, my name was drawn in the Creative Escape 2009 lottery! WHOA! I was stunned and elated! :-)

So, I'll be heading to Phoenix, Arizona in August! YAY! I can't wait ... the event incorporates lots of my favorite things ... travel, scrapbooking workshops (with great teachers), a gorgeous resort (& spa!), shopping, friends, surprises & treats, and on and on. You may recall from my blog posts about last year's event that the ONLY way to attend is if your name is drawn in their lottery. CE is so wildly popular that far more people want to go than they can accommodate. So I'm a LUCKY girl!
Actually, in the back of my mind, I had written-off the idea of attending CE this year. My friend had even offered me the "bring-a-friend" spot that she got when her name was drawn recently (thanks, Barb!), but I politely declined. Buddy was seriously ill, we have veterinary expenses, the economy is uncertain, etc. etc. etc. But, then my own name was drawn ... against the odds ... so I just HAD to reconsider, and find a way. There are only 640 seats for the event, and as the CE blog points out, "...there are thousands and thousands and thousands of Creative Escape wannabes just waiting for an email saying their name has been pulled...". After beating those odds, it would've been hard to let my chance slip away!

And Sal, what a sweetheart, told me that Buddy & Aruba would love for their Dog Mom to have this gift for Mother's Day. Awww......

So, I registered for the event and booked my flight (luckily, like last year, I was able to get a free airline ticket with my frequent flier miles. Very helpful!).

What an incredible way to celebrate National Scrapbooking Day, right? Speaking of NSD ... I had a blast "shop hopping" yesterday. Met up with friends I haven't seen in a while, and I even won a $10 giftcard at Everything Scrapbook!

Have a great week,

Saturday, May 2, 2009

happy National Scrapbooking Day!

Today is National Scrapbooking Day (always on the first Saturday of May)! It's a day to celebrate this wonderful hobby, art, and craft.

I'll be celebrating with a "shop hop" among my 3 local sb stores ... Everything Scrapbook in Lake Worth, Scrapbook Place in Boca Raton, and Cherry Blossom Studio in Coconut Creek. I'm really looking forward to joining in on all the FUN they have planned, like special sales, projects, prizes, snacks, etc. I feel so lucky that I still have local sb'ing stores, all within 30 minutes of home. Lots of stores across the country have closed due to the sour economy. I often hear scrapbookers complain that their nearest store is now a 2-hour drive away, yikes! And online shopping just ain't the same.

Attention fellow scrappers! ... have you seen this? ... Bazzill (the cardstock company that ALL scrappers love) has a new online tool called Bazzill Matchmaker. Just choose a patterned paper collection (they list lines from a variety of manufacturers), and the tool will bring up which colors of Bazzill's cardstock coordinate best! Check it out.

What is your scrapbook color? The May issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine has a fun "Color Me" quiz online for you to find out. Just answer 10 questions about your scrapbooking style and voila! you just might learn something about yourself. I'm a red scrapbooker ... who knew? ... which doesn't necessarily mean that I love the color red, but instead indicates that "You have a real passion for this hobby. Your pages are colorful, bold, lively and full of adventure. You may enjoy travel and have many vacation photos. You like your albums to reflect your zest for life and the varied experiences you enjoy." I'd say that description of me is pretty much right on! So, what color scrapbooker are you?

Enjoy the holiday! :-)