Thursday, July 7, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now - with updates

Barkley channels "RCA Dog".

We're home from the Doggie Hospital. Barkley still pretty out of it from the meds. (Look, a squirrel . . . . zzzzzzz). The Vet had told me during the exam last week that the tumor was likely a meibomian gland adenoma, benign, or other type of benign neoplash. Those are common in older dogs (he is almost 8). If it's not, the vet could tell that when she cut into it. She is sending it out to a pathologist. We should have the histopathology report to indicate the type of tumor and mitotic rate on Tuesday.

I'm sorry I don't have cheerier news. I've tried to keep the postings upbeat through the last month or so, there's parts of my life that aren't the world's business, but they do affect much of what goes on in my head and heart on a daily basis. As with other heartbreak, perhaps I should just shut up and post a recipe, but Barkley is family to many of you, on and away from the blog, so here it is.

I'm still hopeful that a clean removal surgically, which they did today under full anaesthesia, will give him a good prognosis if it's not benign. In anything, all we can do is hope.

"But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass." ---Sam, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Evening Update: Barkley drank some water (finally), ate a Milkbone with gusto and jumped up and commandeered my bed. I've got the lights down so not to bother his eye but he's sitting up and is alert though I'm getting the "Aunt Tam wouldn't make me wear this thing, she brings me pigs ears."

Guilt and attention. Good signs.

Thanks for the many kind and caring comments and the phone calls.

Morning Update: Thank you again all for the outpouring of care and the emails and phone calls yesterday from those of you that are close friends. Barkley seemed to do OK coming off the anesthesia though I worried that he might have spilled the code to the gun safe and the secret family Toutiere recipe while under.

But he then had an upset tummy from the anesthesia (normal) last night. About three times in the middle of the night I got the frantic, panting "I have to go to the bathroom NOW", and the next thing you know I'm out in the yard at 2 am in yellow Victoria's Secret jammies with a dog that wants to go potty the furthest away from the door as possible. Sigh.

His regular doggie bed was hard for him to maneuver in and out of with the cone so I made him a nest of travel beds and pillows that smelled like me and put it in my bedroom. (He normally sleeps out in the living room where he can watch the door). He did get a little sleep finally, as did I. He then ate his breakfast with some enthusiasm and it seemed to sit well with him.

76 comments:

  1. Brigid, I'm so sorry to read this. Mrs. Crucis and I will be praying for both of you.

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  2. We will keep you and Barkley in our prayers, as always.

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  3. Barkley IS family to me.

    My prayers are with you both.

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  4. We're sending best wishes and tons of prayers your way. We know you'll be right there by his side, and will do the best for your dog each day.

    God bless both of you.

    Chris

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  5. Also, not only is Barley family, but you're family too, even though we've never laid eyes on each other.

    Chris

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  6. Regardless of final outcome I know this is hard so I'm sorry.

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  7. Murphy and I have your back AND Barkley's...and Murphy is laughing at the cone since he had one recently as well. Looks like the same gauze-bandage-improvised-collar set-up, too.

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  8. So sorry to hear!
    As always, Barkley and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  9. Prayers to you both. It is okay to express what you feel. I do it, maybe to much. Lots of love and positivity heading your way.

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  10. Oh, that's rough. Prayers and prayers - I hope that whatever it is, he does indeed have a good prognosis. When our girl had her tumor several years ago, the news looked pretty bad initially, but we ended up with far more time with her than we had expected, thanks to her surgery. I pray the same will be true for Barkley, and that he has many long years yet with the people he loves. Give that sweet pooch a big slobbery kiss for me.

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  11. Thoughts and prayers for both of you... Hope Barkley gets well soonest!

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  12. Brigid, Sorry to hear this and best wishes and prayers headed your way!

    It does not make it any easier but I will say it anyway. You cannot solve a problem until it has been defined.

    God Bless!

    Kelly

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  13. I'm sorry, Brigid.

    If you are interested, the Ohio State University Vet. Hospital oncology docs did a wonderful job with our Black Lab, Christopher.

    Big hugs,
    Lois

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  14. Dogs are people with fur, and I'm just as thankful for my pup as you are for Barkley. I'm wishing him the best possible outcome in this.

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  15. They become a part of the family and they become attached to the family rib. When there are problems with them, their problems become mine and I suffer. I reach out and hope for the best. It is amazing what they can do today and I pray they can do a clean removal with no spreading. You will be his strength to get through the ordeal. Hang tough.

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  16. Praying for a positive outcome.

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  17. Oi. Wishing and praying for the best.

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  18. I have to tell you - this gave me a belly ache as though it was one of my own pups. Barkley is strong and hardly even mortified at the cone of shame so I suspect he'll be okay.

    His mom just needs to let out whatever feels proper to whomever. Whenever. I am so sorry you're being challenged on all sides of late...if only a biscuit would solve our own woes...well, maybe one of YOUR biscuits might.

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  19. Barkley will be fine. Keep positive thoughts flowing to him, and all of us will keep the prayers to GOD.

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  20. God bless you both. I am sorry Brigid. Pray things work out for you both

    regards
    Dan

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  21. Damn, I get pulled out of the shadows once again....Sending all the best healing and "stay strong" vibes in the world your way....

    You and Barkley have taken excellent care of each other, and loved each other unconditionally. There are never guarantees on how much time we get to share love, but you two have made each second count. It may just turn out to be ok and you'll have many more years together.

    Sometimes in showing the "weaker" moments it reveals ones greatest strengths....- thanks for including us in this journey, too......

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  22. I'm praying for a good outcome for both of you. I know how dear Barkley is to you

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  23. I'm so sorry. I will be praying for Barkley and you too.

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  24. I do hope you and Barkley do well. My best wishes and prayers for you both.



    WV: Props. Yeah, really.

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  25. George (a loving Mastiff who lets us live with him) and I share your concern and offer our prayers for health and wholeness. May God keep you in his hands and shower you both with love.

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  26. Damn. Brigid, I am so sorry. I will be praying that Barkley's prognosis is good and that the cancer is gone.

    I just lost my dog this week. He had a tumor in his heart that was causing the heart to bleed into his lungs. We had to put him to sleep.

    Know that both you and Barkley are in my thoughts and prayers.

    -Raptor

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  27. Brigid,

    You never need to hold anything back. We are family, we all love you and we are all there for you.
    you do so much more for us than I can even express.

    Love and prayers for you and Barkley!

    Bob Moore

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  28. Doggie (and owner) prayers are continuing. If you need anything Miss D. or I can offer, you only have to ask.

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  29. Keeping you and Barkley close in my thoughts and prayers. Going through a similar time with my oldest (and biggest) baby, Sasha.

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  30. Like all the others Mr. S & I are praying for a full recovery for Barkley. Hopefully his recent weight loss is a result of more exercise and not other tumors hiding elsewhere.

    Has Barkley found a way to untie his safety cone yet? If it were Chloe, she would probably be trying to push it off her head with all four feet. You should see her trying to get out of a muzzle-quite hilarious.

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  31. Lu, Chrisi, Angus and I send you and Barkley all the love and prayers we have to give Brigid. You are both family.

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  32. Love can conquer a lot of things and Barkley seems to have it in spades. Just the pampering and care will do so much for the recovery.

    "Chin up" - Charlotte the spider

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  33. Sorry to hear this news. But I have faith that Barkley will be fine. After all I know he has the best mom, nurse, and friend taking care of him.

    You both are in my prayers.

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  34. Wishing you and Barkley the best, B.

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  35. Barkley and You are both in our prayers. I've asked Brutus the wonder dog to whisper a doggie prayer for his brother from another mother.

    God bless the both of you, remember DOG spelled backwards is GOD.

    Mike

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  36. I hope he didn't bark out any family secrets while under anesthesia...

    We're keeping you and Barkley in our prayers... you are family... and it's been a long year for you.

    Dann in Ohio

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  37. Brigid,

    You can share anything you wish. You know that. I will withhold comment until we know the pathology report. But, I do notice the outpouring of love and concer here.

    You have touched so many people. We are all here for you, as you need us.

    SWModel66

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  38. So sorry to read this news. You and Barkley are in my prayers.

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  39. "We should have the histopathology report to indicate the type of tumor and mitotic rate on Tuesday"

    Here's hoping that the Mitotic rate is low and the midi-chlorian count is up!

    Go Jedi-Dog, go!

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  40. I mentioned Barkley's plight on my FB page, so there's another 166 people praying as well. Barkley is in good hands!

    Chris

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  41. Nugget and I hope and pray for the best with Barkley. In fact, I've been up tonight with Nugget, he's done something to his back right leg, where he's not putting any weight on it. I think something happened when he took off after that stray cat that was in our backyard. One minute he's growling at the sliding glass door, then he takes of through the doggie door in the screen door to the kitchen and comes back three legged. I thought that maybe there's something stuck in his paw, but I can't find anything.
    Off to the vet tomorrow, hopefully it's just something minor, like a sprain.

    It hurts to see family in pain.

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  42. I am a long time dog (and cat) owner - wishing you and Barkley the best outcomes.

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  43. Prayers for you and Barkley.

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  44. I hope Barkley does well. We had a 12-year old Cocker Spaniel with an enlarged nipple that turned out to be malignant. The Vet really didn't want to operate, but Dog was in very good health. She lasted another 3 years. She was a Good Girl.

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  45. Prayers and best wishes to Barkley from Inua Tikaani, the Texas Husky and the fat guy he lives with.

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  46. Keeping you & Barkley in my prayers. Glad to hear he's gettin' around and eating a bit. Hopefully the upset tummy goes away quick. Hang in there.

    Blessings upon you both.

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  47. B -

    Oh gosh. Miss the blog for a few days, find this. We'll keep sending the prayers and good thoughts on a 222degree heading.

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  48. Best of Luck to both of you!
    Many folks just don't understand that they are not "just a dog".
    Things have a way of workin' out...

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  49. I have an evil plastic device on my head and no opposable thumbs. Still I can reveal the secret family recipe while Mom is taking a shower.

    Brigid's Tourtiere

    2 cups flour
    1 tsp salt
    3/4 cup of a half and half mixture of vegetable shortning and butter (the butter gives it flavor, the shorning makes it more flakey)
    5-6 tbsp ice cold water

    Meat Filling:

    1 1/2 lbs ground pork
    2 tablespoons bacon fat
    1 onion, chopped fine
    1/4 cup celery, chopped fine
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground summer savory (Penzey's has it)
    1/3 tsp pepper
    1/4 tsp allspice
    small pinch mace or nutmeg
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    1 small yukon potato
    1 egg yolk
    1 tbsp cream

    To make the pastry: Place the butter/shortening in food processor with the flour and salt. Pulse a few times til blended, then place in a large bowl. start Add the water a tbsp at a time until mixture forms a dough that will hold together. Don't over mix or it will be tough. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge while you prepare the filling.

    To make pork filling:

    Peel, cook and mash the potato and set aside.

    In a non-stick skillet with a cover, cook pork in bacon fat, breaking up the larger chunks with a wooden spoon. If you use a quality lean grade of pork (like ground tenderloin) you should not have to drain off any fat. You are not eating this for your health, the fat lends a wonderful flavor. If you use a very cheap fatty ground pork you may wish to drain some of the fat off as it completes cooking).

    Add garlic, celery and onion and cook until the onions are tender.

    Add salt, savory, pepper, allspice, bay leaf, mace or nutmeg and chicken stock Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and simmer 5 more minutes until most of the liquid is gone (the mix should still be quite moist, but not sitting in liquid.) If it dries out too much add a couple tablespoons more of stock or water.

    Add potato and remove bay leaf. The mashed potatoe helps bind the mixture together).

    Roll out pastry (if you roll it out between sheets of Saran Wrap style wrap you can peel one sheet away and use the other to flip it in place). Fill with meat mixture, cover with second half of pastry and seal edges. Cut a few vents in the top.

    Brush top with a slightly whisked mixture of the egg yolk and cream.

    Bake at 425F for 20 minutes. Without opening door, reduce heat to 350 and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Ovens vary so watch carefully the last 10 minutes or so.

    - Woof. Barkley

    P.S. DAMN THIS CONE. DAMN THIS CONE TO HELL!

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  50. Get well soon, Barkley! I swear, you are half the reason I read this blog!! ;-)

    Kelly

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  51. Nipper is the RCA dogs name, I just remembered!

    God bless all.

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  52. Barkley: Please ask Duke for his recipe for beans...

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  53. It always sucks when our pets/loved ones are ill...but I'd have paid good money to see that trip in the yellow Vicky Secret wear :D

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  54. To Brigid, my deepest condolences. I know people say trite things like "they're just pets"; but they become part of your family, part of who you are and when they are ill or pass, it affects me greatly. Anytime I even think my Buster is hurt it ruins my day. Here's hoping Barkley has a rapid recovery.

    To Barkley, Keep your chin up (even with the damnable cone) and do your best to rest and heal. All of us readers enjoy it when you play blogger for the day and we expect you to keep that up.

    You'll both be in my prayers.

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  55. Think on the bright side. At least it isn't winter. You could have been standing outside in the cold in you pj's waiting for Barkley to find just the right spot to go at 2 a.m.

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  56. Words fail, y'all hang in there. Prayers sent.

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  57. "...I got the frantic, panting "I have to go to the bathroom NOW", and the next thing you know I'm out in the yard at 2 am in yellow Victoria's Secret jammies doing the "Nantucket Sleigh Ride" with a dog that wants to go potty the furthest away from the door as possible."

    Victoria's Secret jammies?

    Good Dog.

    Bicuit for Barkley!

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  58. Ah Barkley...Gusserson says ditch the cone and hide the VS jammies....he would...Biscuits Rule, errr DOGS RULE!

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  59. Brigid, time to invoke Doggie Rules...

    1. Let's have fun!
    2. Feed me well.
    3. Give me a safe place to rest.
    4. Be close to me always.
    5. Go to 1.

    Abbreviated:

    1. Love me. Repeat.

    Tonight when I light my candle for all my past 4-legged loves, I will think kind thoughts for Barkley. And for you.

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  60. Brigid. Watch that collar, as I see it is secured with cord. That cord can tight up if he catches his nail in it when trying to paw... If he ends up having to wear one long term, there is a very comfortable collar you can get that will help keep him from being so frustrated and banging his head into things. Here's the link on amazon. It might be available at a local pet store. Here is a line (I hope it will come through. If not, drop me a line.)

    http://dogkneeinjury.com/alternatives-to-an-e-collar/

    You get the idea. They are 'soft' and bend when the dog goes through a door, also allows them to eat more comfortably. In addition,they don't lay there in a pool of slobber. They hate that. Really.

    Look around the web and you'll find any number of these soft collars.

    -Cap'n Jan
    Sailing with Dogs

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  61. Cap'n Jan - Thanks. The cord only holds together a segment of the collar. Even if tightened up so tighth those sections come together it wouldn't be choking, just pretty tight. But a legitimate concern. Thanks for the link. He has to wear this about a week I think.

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  62. We love because they love us and it is very difficult for us to attach to another human the way we can attach to a dang dog. He reads my mind..............

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  63. Hello Brigid and Barkley:
    Although my wife and I have been reading your blog for a very long time and keeping up with your adventures, weve never posted to your blog till now. First thank you for sharing...you are both amazing. Second, We will be praying for both of you because we know how deep your love goes for each other. Take care of you both and we will continue reading and praying. TheWiseGuysInc.

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  64. Brigid, I've grown fond of your writings about Barkley, and am saddened to hear of his troubles. I use the Serenity Prayer for many things, such as "accept" and "courage to change"; while they may almost seem contradictory, they truly complement. Hopes and prayers your way, Mick

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  65. My big Kuvasz is lying at my feet wearing "this damnable cone" commiserating with brother Barkley.

    Hang tough Barkley, face each day the way you always have, ask no quarter and give none. Everyday is a fight in one way or another. Never give up. You are loved by one and all.

    Brigid - courage and grace.

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  66. Hi Brigid and Barkley.

    Here is your morning greeting, and the daily dose of prayer and good will.

    Get well soon!

    Chris and the critters

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  67. Barkley,

    ooh, you just made me drool a little myself. Thanks! Rest up, enjoy all the attention mom's going to give you (and treats!). See if you can guilt her into bacon... bacon.... where was I? Oh, yeah, the eye should feel better soon, and sooner or later, like a week, mom will take the cone off. Maybe she'll even let you kill it!

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  68. Hang tough Brigid & Barkley. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

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  69. Thanks everyone. Barkley is doing better and I was even able to leave him for an hour or so early this morning to get outdoors for a bit. He's eating and resting well. He is on doggie pain meds for a few more days but doesn't appear to be in any discomfort and has a good appetite. Good signs.

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  70. Great news, Brigid. Thanks for the update.

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  71. Good thoughts coming Barkley's way (and yours). The critters have a way of drilling into our hearts.

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  72. I'm so glad Barkley is doing better. I am hoping for a speedy and complete recovery!

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  73. That picture of Barkley smiling with the "cone of shame" on is uplifting....prayers and good thoughts to you both!!!!....I am hoping my Tabitha feels good soon too.

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  74. Hoping for the best, for both of you!!

    [T]he next thing you know I'm out in the yard at 2 am in yellow Victoria's Secret jammies doing the "Nantucket Sleigh Ride" with a dog that wants to go potty the furthest away from the door as possible.

    Video, please. 8)

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  75. I hope Barkley's doing well with the evil Conehead.

    When my Zack had his after his car accident he was a miserable pup for a few days, but labs adapt quickly.

    Give him an extra belly rub for me!

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I started this blog for family that lives far away. Now that they are gone, it continues on to share those memories.

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