Sunday, August 24, 2014

Moving on... on behalf of Tina Downey

On behalf of the Downey family, we want to let Tina's friends and followers know that she went to be with the Lord Saturday night, August 23rd.  As many of you know, Tina struggled each day with pulmonary hypertension and had been in and out of the hospital all year.  She was admitted Tuesday and appeared to be getting better.  Saturday evening she took a turn for the worse and doctors discovered she had sepsis. She fought valiantly but when they attempted dialysis, her body gave out.

We know how much you all meant to her and filled her life with joy every day.  We truly appreciate the special way each one of you brought significance and meaning to her life.  No arrangements have been made at this time.  We will provide updates as details are made known.


Friends and Family of the Downeys

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Climbed Long's Peak with My Sister the Day I Got Out of the Hospital!

That should have gotten you attention!  Impossible feat.  However, my Swissie, DID climb it, with her husband and his friend who have done it before. She took me with her, though. Sixteen grueling miles, over boulders and along ledges where you can literally fall to your death.  It was a bucket list item for her.  I'm very proud of her.

It's no secret I love sunflowers, so she took one of my artificial ones from some arrangements I made and brought it with her so I could "go there" too. The irony was not lost on either of us that she was climbing one of the most difficult 14,000+ peaks (we call them 14ers) while I was leaving the hospital in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank.

Here is my amazing sister, at the top.  Love you Swissie.

~Tina, who has climbed a 14er, but not this one...I don't have a death wish, I'm afraid of heights, and well, I'm not exactly in the best shape of my life...

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credit: one of her co-horts, don't know which one, but probably her husband

P.S Yes, I'm sorta back.  Posting will be random, I'll return comments as I have the energy, and I've missed you all very much.  Thanks for sticking around!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

College Life: Episode 9: Snorkeling, College Style

For the summer, once a week I'll be sharing a story from my college days at CSU, 1984-1988. I will leave links at the end of each post for previous episodes.

(Mom and Dad, another post to read at your own risk of bursting the bubble of whom you though I was in college...)

The Cheerleader, our suite mate, taught Mary Jo and me to snorkel one Saturday, right before a football game. (There are links below to previous episodes if you want to get caught up and you don't even need to wait for the whole season to be released on Netflix!) It was the only time I ever went snorkeling of this particular nature. Snorkeling on Kauai is much more fun and so much better for your liver...

First, you need the right glass. I considered drawing a picture and thought, “Hey, you could totally find one online! That way if anyone reading this is inclined to get completely drunk in about 10 minutes, then they can order one here!”  Back then, kids, the internet was called going to the library and yeah, you could so not get a snorkeling glass there.

The football game was at noon, and she had talked for DAYS about how her friend had finally followed through on a two year old promise - getting Tara her own snorkel glass. We had to learn, and now, because then we would be able to watch the game buzzed. 

We were 18, drinking age 21 for anything except 3.2% (by weight) beer. It was about 10:30 am, and as one of the cheerleaders, she only had a few minutes to teach us before she had to report for warm-ups.

Let me share how this special glass is used. Pretend you are making a mixed drink. Pour the non-alcoholic part in the bottom of the glass, then pour the alcohol at the top of the glass.  It floats, and they don't mix. I was going to look up density and all that science stuff but you can if you want to know why, but you can see in the picture how they're separate.

The idea then is to drink the whole glass like your chugging a small soda. You don't taste the rum going down, and then you're just drinking pepsi. Turns out that I did it perfectly my fist time. 

Mary Jo had many more problems, because if you don't drink the whole thing all at once, it does combine and then you DO have a mixed drink which inexperienced drinkers can't just chug. It took her a long time to finish her 1st drink, which we made her pour into something else if she was going to take so long.

We needed that glass back! So I, the very inexperienced drinker snorkeled three time. Tara four. I don't know why she thought this was wise considering what I'd already watched her do during games. 

I don't know why I found it wise to drink so early in the morning. Three drinks in ten or so minutes is a lot for anyone. Let's call it peer pressure. Then I'll admit that I have free will and did this to myself, and went and lay on my bed for a while.

My study buddy/Rocky Horror friends came to pick me up for the game (I was asleep) and asked me why I was so drunk. I said snorkeling. They said, “So have you learned your lesson?” I assured them I had. 

They took me, fed me, and said “There there” when I began to sober up and start to feel... not so normal...They made sure I got to my room, where I promptly went to bed, having no idea if Tara fell off the top of the pyramid, could still stand on the guys hands, or do her back-handsprings.and no idea where MJ (Mary Jo) was. At least I wasn't locked out of my room.

Next time I snorkeled was in 1996, in Kauia, no alcohol involved.

~Tina, who learned a lesson the first time for probably the only time in my life...

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo credits snorkel glass
Real snorkeling, Swissie or Windex, not sure who took it.  That's me at the top of the picture ;-) with the Engineer.

Episode 5: A Physics Prank
Episode 6:  Marvelous Marble
Episode 7: I Don't Hate My Laptop Quite as Much
Episode 8:  My Days as a Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

IWSG: Paranoid Lunatic at the Keyboard...

For quite a few months I've been writing some encouraging posts, but not this week.  I'm the insecurest (yes, I made up that word, I get to because I'm a writer) I've been in a long time.

Those of you who follow me know that I'm on an indefinite break from blogging because I was in the hospital for pneumonia for 15 days.  It's a very, very slow recovery.  I post when I have some energy.  It's totally random when.

I'm afraid that all my readers will leave and won't notice when I'm back and that five years of building my blog audience will have to be rebooted. I'm probably too vain to be so excited about what I've done here...but the friends I've made are priceless, and I know they'll be with me, but I had so many new, really loyal readers...

Done whining now.  Thanks for listening.

~Tina, slowly recovering, and not really so good at slow...

Alex “Ninja Captain” Cavanaugh  is our leader for this wonderful, supportive group. Don't forget we even have our own website now.  Be sure to check it out if you haven't already, and "like" our facebook page, too. I'm so impressed with what these talented folks are doing to promote this group! Encouragement month long is now just a click away! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just a Quick Update

I'm alive, and getting well. I've told you about skinny dipping, how I fell down the stairs at The National Theater, and even how I almost died trying to relieve myself (it's in the “about me” section above.) Might as well tell you his, too.

I spent 15 days in the hospital with pneumonia. Took them a while to figure it out. It was awful. Nice nurses and CNA's took great care of me, and I really like the infectious disease specialist they had to call in.

I'm bouncing back, but it will still be a while until I'm back to blogging. Just thought you might like an update. Thanks for visiting today. I miss this world.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Breakfast Club Comes to Mind...

I'm going on a little blogging break.  I'm in the hospital.  It's for my asthma and its many complications.  I don't know how long I'll be here, I don't know how much energy I'll have.

Some days I may post something, but instead of what used to be a M-W-F blog, then as you saw became a random blog, will now be an even more random blog.

I just don't know what's going to happen to me next.  I have to take it one day at a time. For Schedule Woman not be able to schedule? Torturous...

I, in my vanity and selfishness don't want to do this.  Stupid thoughts run through my head:

"You worked really hard to return almost all of the A-Z comments and got a lot of new readers and they're sticking around and you're going to lose them."

"If you're writing sporadically, only those who use feeders will know when you post."

Then reason and sanity sorta return and say to me, "It's a blog.  Or it's your health. Choose."  So at this time, I'm focusing on my health.

~Tina, who chose that opening song for obvious reasons...I'm a hopeless attention seeker and don't want you to go away...sigh.  

P.S Email returns will be hopelessly late...but that you've probably gotten used to already ;-)

Monday, July 7, 2014

College Life: Episode 8: My Days as a Rocky Horror Picture Show Fan

For the summer, once a week I'll be sharing a story from my college days at CSU, 1984-1988. I will leave links at the end of each post for previous episodes.

(So Mom and Dad, remember how I've referred to antics in college that started me down a path that perhaps wasn't so good for me? This is one of those stories.  So I'm thinking you might not want to read this one...just saying.  Your choice.)

I don't know if college students still observe this cultish ritual, but according to Wikipedia, the tradition is alive and doing well.  They just didn't mention what age group still goes to the movies at midnight, shouts at the screen, throws rice and toast and other things that I'm sure theater employees enjoy cleaning up.  I used to be one of those college students.

I don't really remember how it all started, but one Saturday night my physics study group (remember those great guys who tutored me? link below if you don't) invited me to some movie called the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I asked them what it was about.  

"Well it's like a horror musical, satire, comedy, farce, sci-fi but quite rated R sorta movie.  It's hysterical and the audience dresses up and participates.  There's nothing like it. You really have to see it to understand."  I went.  

Their's was a pretty good description.  At first I was appalled at some of what I was seeing, but I was also laughing, and the songs were absolutely hysterical, and the movie didn't even try to take itself seriously, and it was a mighty good time.  My stomach muscles were sore the next day from laughing.

We of course weren't REAL fans yet.  We didn't bring anything to throw.  We didn't dress up.  We did make it a regular Saturday night event, though.  It didn't take us long to catch on to what we needed.  I don't remember it all, but there's a wedding scene with a toast to the bride and groom where we all throw toast.  (Yes, you do get hit with the toast coming from behind you.  Most are kind enough not to butter it.)  You also throw rice at the departing couple.  

I remember rolls of toilet paper are tossed at some point - takes practice to make the roll un-roll as you throw it, but I knew how to do that from tp-ing people's trees (um, yeah, Mom and Dad, if you're reading, I did that too...but he deserved it).  You also throw hot dogs (my memory isn't good enough for where that one comes in) nor the squirt guns, but it does rain a lot, and there's an umbrella scene...

As we got better and better at this, we connected with the group of friends of one of the study buddies.  They were practically professionals.  One of them was one of the live actors who stood in front of the screen and acted out the movie along with the actors, at THE theater in downtown Denver.  

We started making pilgrimages.  We met some very interesting people and their interesting friends...and so on and so on.

Have you seen it?  Did you become a fan?  Have you thrown toast in a movie theater?  (See even that part would offend my poor mother, waste of food AND littering AND bad manners...AND not cleaning it up...she really did raise me right...doesn't mean I always obeyed...)

©2014 All Rights Reserved
Photo Credit: Movie Poster

Episode 5: A Physics Prank
Episode 6:  Marvelous Marble
Episode 7: I Don't Hate My Laptop Quite as Much