Project Accountant?

Currently, I do not watch a lot of television.  With 100 channels available, I frequently cannot find a single thing interesting to watch.  However, I have found a guilty pleasure — a sequin among the remnants, if you will — in the so-called “Reality TV” category of entertainment.  I confess here and now that I like to watch Project Runway.

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No, I don’t look like anything Heidi Klum (I am way too short and have long since lost my …

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Apples and grapes

Recently, one of my friends posted a comment on a popular social media site lamenting the impending removal of an orchard of aging Gravenstein apple trees that was adjacent to her property.  Her comment expressed her sadness that the orchard was being removed to make way for “yet another vineyard”.  While I, too, have a sense of loss every time I see a Gravenstein orchard being removed, I do not feel that a vineyard is a bad result. 

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Teen Angel?

Well, not exactly.  Mackie (aka Rowdy MacDuff), the sweet Scottie puppy who came into my world on May 31st of this year is now a “teenager” and, boy, do I have a whole new level sympathy for the parents of real teenagers.

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All of a sudden, Mackie no longer knows own name.  He also appears to have developed a selective deafness.  If he is not the first one fed, he will immediately and loudly start playing hockey up and down the …

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Puppy Love

On the afternoon of April 3, 2012, I got the phone call that I had been waiting for.  My BDCo co-workers were no doubt amused when I emerged from my office to announce that I was now a “puppy Mama”.  Earlier that morning, the puppy that was destined to become mine had been born.

 

Fast forward to May 31st and I am driving to the Sacramento airport after work to take delivery of one small black Scottish Terrier boy.  At 10:15 pm, I arrive at cargo and …

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Deja who?

Not long ago, my BDCo cohort Geni wrote a blog about scars or “tattoos” from our life stories. Recently I have had a couple of close encounters with my past that have caused me to, somewhat unwillingly, revisit parts of my own life story.

The chain of events was placed in motion in February when I was contacted by a former classmate with whom I had kept in touch regarding the upcoming reunion of my high school graduating class.  I was promptly added to the reunion group on a popular social media site and, being like the fish who sits at …

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Do what you can

One of my friends has terminal cancer.  No further chemo is possible, and his oncologist has referred him to a pain management specialist.  I feel helpless that, medically, there is very little that can be done.  He is such a brave, kind, and wonderful person; he does not deserve this.

In my hours of pondering my friend and his situation, what finally came into my mind was “BRAT”.  For those of you who, like me, have a fussy stomach, you might know that “BRAT” is medical shorthand for a diet of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.  This is generally recommended for …

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Playing favorites

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No, I am not talking about betting the horses, although the results of this kind of playing favorites can result in some pretty serious losses.  What I am referring to is the tendency of parents to favor one of their children over another.  In my experience, when this topic comes up, virtually all parents will stoutly maintain that they treat all of their children the same.  However, from conversations that I have had with family and …

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How much is that doggie…

As some of you may know from my blog earlier this year, I am currently in the process of looking for a Scottie puppy.  When I think back on how my family acquired pets in my youth (via a newspaper ad, a friend, or a local pet shop), I am both appalled at how naïve we where then about entering such a long-term relationship and mentally exhausted by the amount of effort now involved in finding a good purebred dog.

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Losses and gains

On looking back and moving forward, by Terry Hollenstain.

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The Ghost Network: Connecting across generations

My Danish ancestors are apparently restless once again. Recently, in another close encounter of the ghost kind, I received a message on Facebook from a “stranger”.  As I read the young woman’s note, I felt as though a spectral hand had just reached out and touched me on the shoulder.  Her question was simple — was I related to the Henry and Maria Hollenstein who had lived near Salinas, California in the early 1900’s? 

After noticing that the surname of the “stranger” was the same as that of Maria Bonde Hollenstein’s brother-in-law,  I responded that, yes, I was their great-great …

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