Frodo died yesterday

FrodoSummer2009Our (Matt’s) beloved Frodo, the pick of the one litter of pugs born in 2005, had a massive stroke yesterday.

We rushed him to the vet who immediately referred us to a critical care vet nearby.  They were wonderful and got him in right away.  They did some blood work to rule out certain things and made him comfortable.

He couldn’t stand up and his eyes were unable to focus and moved oddly.  He didn’t appear to be able to see us because when we got close to his face, he didn’t lick us like he normally would.  One of his legs was being held out straight as if he couldn’t bend it.  His head was looking way to the side as if he couldn’t hold it straight.

The wonderful vet said she hadn’t seen a stroke as bad as Frodo’s.  She gave him a 30-40% chance of improving overnight and IF he did improve, he was facing a very long recovery.  He’d likely never play or be the same again.

With that prognosis, we, as a family, decided the most compassionate thing to do was to put him out of his misery.

I held him in my arms as the injection was given.  He went very peacefully and is buried in our backyard with our beloved Golden Retriever Teeko and our German Shepherd Rajah (both also died in my arms).

Matt brought him into the world by removing the placenta (Xena, his mom-pug wasn’t the most attentive) so he was bonded to Matt.

Matt and Frodo

I am still in shock.  He was so healthy and vibrant.

Here’s a link to a video of Frodo playing in the backyard last summer – I just loved being out there with him.

Rest in peace, dear Frodo.  I’ll see you when I get there.

Frodo – Summer 2014

Matt’s visit – March 2015

Today I’m blessed to have both sons home.  Oh they are both out and about but this is where they will lay their heads tonight.


Matt and I’ve had a rough time this past year. This trip has been about healing.

If I’ve taught my sons anything, it’s that we talk about our problems. It’s been hard to talk to Matt with him so far away.

Ok, that’s bullshit.

It’s been hard to talk to him because I’ve been angry. And my anger is a tool to cover hurt.

I own it.

That’s gone now.  We had a very emotional conversation his first night here.  It was healing.

We needed that.

And the rest of his visit has been so nice.  He’s been working hard on his film project and it’s just been good to have daily life with him in it.

At what point do we let go of our distance and honor what time we have left?

Death has been a huge part of my thinking and I can’t help but wonder if living so far from each other is how we should be spending the twilight of my life?


Vincent John Salvati – died one year ago today

It’s hard to believe a whole year has passed since my nephew died of an overdose of opioids and God-only-knows what else.

Before the drug use, he was a bright, somewhat shy and intelligent young man. This is how I remember him because I didn’t see him during his four years of using.

His mother (my sister) didn’t make his life easy and he struggled with her demons and well as his own.

As time has passed, I find myself longing for solitude.

I also find myself angry.

Angry at me for not doing more to help him.

Angry at his mother for never being everything she could have been.

Angry at his father for trying so hard to protect him that he failed to give him the tools to cope with life’s struggle.

Angry at the incredible lack of meaning so many have in their lives.

And yet, all of this is in God. God weeps as I weep.

And another year begins.

Please Quit Facebook

I’ve quit Facebook.  Here’s a high level overview of why; read the link below for specifics.  Then ask yourself why anyone in the right mind would participate in it.

Remember, this isn’t just about the technical stuff. By staying on Facebook, you’re granting them permission to collect and use information about you, regardless if you even using the Internet. And by staying on, the data they collect on you gets used to create models about your closest friends and family, even the ones who opted out.

My sister Regina

My sister would have been 58 years old today.

She died May 22, 2014.

We didn’t always get along, and you certainly couldn’t describe our relationship as close.

Yet I feel a huge hole in my heart.

She was my baby sister.

She told me I abandoned her when I left home at age 16 (I was afraid of our father’s anger; and I made him angry).


She’s about 5 in this picture taken at Echo Park in Los Angeles, CA around 1962.Regina-EchoParkLake-good



Jan 1, 2015

This year is starting off with my commuter car in the shop.  I love my little Prius but I’m afraid it may very well need a new HV battery (thousands of dollars from what I’ve read).

We shall see.

The interior work on our home continues; we now have all new interior six panel doors.  And we have a new garage entry door as well.  They look absolutely beautiful!

The door installers needed me to empty out the pantry and the hall closet so I’m also starting off the year with an organized pantry.  We tossed out lots of old expired food.

Tomorrow is a work day for me; I’ll be the only staff person in our division there so it will be a quiet, productive day.

Praying that 2015 will be a year of healing, health and growth.


Good bye 2014; Welcome 2015

It seems quite fitting after the most challenging year of my recent memory that my commuter car ends this day with every possible warning light illuminated on the dash (having it towed to the best mechanic on the planet tomorrow Central Avenue Automotive Inc).

I’ve learned so much about life and death this past year. I will always cherish the memories of my only nephew Vincent, and my only sister Regina.

I’ve grown so much as a human being, and am so ready to grow some more.

With open arms I’m ready for 2015.

Happy New Year to all. May 2015 bring peace, happiness and evolution of our species.

Advent 2014

This is the first year in decades that I don’t have my home-made Advent wreath.  I don’t have the energy or motivation it seems.

I bought a live wreath (rather than make one like I usually do) but the Advent candles are in the garden shed and it’s been too icy and rainy.

Or perhaps I’m depressed.