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!