Rocked me…

I was just walking to the mailbox.  I can’t remember exactly why this came out of my mouth, but ever since i said it, I’ve been holding back tears.  They needed to fall.  The stress has been unbearable the last few weeks and I have endured it as the trooper I am.  I need a cry.  I need Moonlight and Valentino but it’s in Alabama.  Yes, I’m avoiding this horrible thought,  I feel awful thinking it let alone repeating it, but it rocked me to my core.

Like a bandaid I’m going to rip it off…

“I hope my Mom dies before me so she won’t have to suffer the pain of losing a child. ”

We all know the natural order. Most of you know how sick I’ve been. I don’t want Mom to have to endure losing my life although she would do it well. I’d hate for her to feel that pain.

Night before my mouth surgery to get as much cancer as they could.

When they were prepping me for brain surgery I told the team, “Don’t worry about me dying D.N.R (DO NOT RESECITATE). I’ve lived an AWESOME life, but Mom’s in the waiting room and she’ll kill ya! RUN!” I can only imagine how afraid she was, and I was trying to make everything a joke.

Night before brain surgery

Her first husband died in an airplane crash and her best friend, my Godmother, lost her battle with cancer, I pray she doesn’t have to let her children go. She doesn’t deserve that! So, while I don’t want to lose Mom, I also don’t want her to lose me.

I’m trying to take her out on the town after surgery

I hope she doesn’t lose one of her children 🙏

True love may be hoping the pain lands on your shoulders, but I’m scared those shoulders won’t be mine.

I love you Mom!

Class alone..

Been trying for 6 days to find the perfect song or poem to show my gratitude to the staff at the Bay Club Hotel and Marina.  I struggled to find the words myself so why should I hope others could? 

First thing Tammy Garbini did was help me get a room.  This is COVID 19 in California, not so simple a task!  I started my first bartending job at the Bay Club in 1996. Brandi Johnson got me the interview with the then restaurant Manager Sandy. One of the BEST people and he gave me a job!

I LOVED working there with the influx of marina and hotel customers, tourists, and concert goers from Humphreys next door.

Humphrey lunch alfresco

Dining alfresco led to a broken tooth for me, first one. I have had perfect teeth ALL my life so I went into panic mode, texted my friend Timm who had the same cancer as I, and rushed into see his dentist. $5000 for 2 front teeth, ummm yeah, no. Tammy got me with another AMAZING staff member who got me straight to a PHENOMENAL dentist South of the border who saved 2 dozen of my teeth! My HERO!!!

The new staff, it’s been 20 years since I’ve worked there, is AMAZING! Above and beyond is the only way to put it!

AWESOME!!

This phenomenal woman is about to finish her Bachelor’s in Business Management, but her REAL gift is reading minds! I saw her do it! I wanted seared tuna because I had been at the dentist all day. I needed protein! She immediately said, “Let’s leave the spices off for you.” Umm, how did you know..she read my mind! I saw her do it again my last day.

“Can I get you a glass of wine?” She said. The total stranger who sat down in shock,

“Yes please.” I won’t bore you but she picked the perfect wine. Tamika is AWESOME!

The front desk helped me so far above and beyond!!!

I know you might be thinking I’m prejudice, but these people didn’t know me! I wasn’t supposed to stay 2 weeks, so I needed laundry, clothes, room cleaned, food, ice, and they were ALWAYS there to help!!!

Last night
My room view
From the other side..restaurant

The staff is warm, helpful and kind! Better than most 5 star resorts in the world, and I’ve been to MANY! Their reviews didn’t do this well!

Be warm and generous, because you never know who is staying, watching or writing. Then again, it shouldn’t matter EVER!

The boys back there have been renovating

Thank you Bay Club! Every hotel in San Diego should follow in your footseps! You are in a class of your own!

Redemption…

Somedays you know..you just know. On Friday the dentist extracted 3 teeth, fit me with a temporary flipper for the bottom teeth, and sent me back to the USA. I was given specific instructions and just couldn’t follow ANY of them. I had to redeem myself. So, I went catching! The boat had been pulling in fish for 4 days without while I went to Mexico fixing my cancer radiation rotted teeth. I needed redemption from the previous weekend catching one small fish.

It’s a baby skipjack tuna, one of 5 fish caught between 25 people

So on Friday night I went out with a great group for a day and a half trip. These fabulous people get together every year to remember a man they all loved who passed away. Even though my mouth was throbbing I am thrilled I ignored the doctors orders and met these wonderful people from all over. I’ve been invited to go next year, and I can’t wait!

Nice Dorado
We caught some fish!
My favorite fish to catch! Mahi Mahi for dinner!

Insecurity maybe?

In 2018 I was told that all my teeth would rot and fall out.  Radiaton destroys enamel and kills salivary glands so bye bye teeth.  They’ve eroded. Despite my best efforts to stop the decay, cancer wins!  I came down to San Diego to fish and relax without drama. First day, tooth falls out of my mouth over lunch.  So much for a relaxing vacation 😌   Not one to have teeth problems, knowing this time was coming, grim reality had yet again arrived thanks to my 2 best friends..warm welcome everyone, coming to the stage…

RADIATON and CHEMOTHERAPY!

I knew what I had to do of course.  Just wish I had more time.  4 to 5 years is the recommend time before messing with mush mouth (chemo/radiation fallouy). Wish I could salvage the pretty teeth I had been born with.  Since covid 19 who cares though, we all have to wear a mask.  Now’s as good a time as any to have teeth fixed.  Silver lining  AND in San Diego to boot!

Yesterday I got an estimate far above my budget, the treatment plan was precise, effective for the 2 teeth, and made me think about how to sell my kidney,  SERIOUSLY!!! 2 teeth = $5 grand YIKES!  I had heard from many others approximately 45k for the whole mouth, but at this estimate $80,000 dollars by the end.  I don’t think so scooter!!!  Strangely enough I knew what I had to do, but more importantly I felt (unlike me) scared.

20 years ago was the last time I crossed the San Ysidro border on foot into Tijuana, Mexico.   Back then I lived a few minutes away on a boat, but I always drove across accept once.  Apparently the entire border had been replaced in my absence so navigation was foreign.   Honestly, I hmmd and hawd about the appointment South of the border.  I NEVER worried about the dentist!  Just wanted to arrive safe, on time, but anxiety had set in.  The fear of the unknown, the pain, crossing alone, crossing BACK! I even went to Ross to buy better clothing for the occasion.

  At 10:00 am I let my friend know I was heading down, and the wonderful Rosie was there to see me off to her cousin, Dr. Garcia my new Dentist.

Here I go again on my own lol

Got to admit I called my bud, Frank 3 times because I couldn’t find where I was supposed to park on the USA side, got lost in a 5 mile radius, but 3 times it went straight to voicemail.  Let’s just say the day before we had a “failure to communicate”.

I’m mad at myself for being scared! That’s not me! The Dentist and his team are PHENOMENAL! Dr. Garcia built a plan that will help me for years to come! I came back over the border, to the hotel, ate (always a miracle), and after 4 hours of dental work today I feel great (no drugs)!

Not familiar with this kind of trepidation, when I go back across on Thursday will there be that feeling?

Attitude..

What a difference a day makes. I should say one person can make!  On Friday night I boarded the Producer for the first of 2 off shore deep sea fishing trips leaving from H and M Landing in San Diego.  The boat leaves at 9 pm and comes in typically around 7 pm the next evening.  25 passengers get on and off each night.  The vessel drives to where the Captain hopes to catch the most fish for the passengers based on experience and intelligence gathered from the rest of the fleet, probably 40 active fishing vessels each night.

Frank, my Captain hasn’t had a day off in 70 days.  Think about it.  No days on land, trying each day to bring people to fish in the biggest ocean on the planet, praying when he finds them they will bite, AND he will have anglers that know how to catch fish or at least follow the crew’s instructions.  EVERY DAY! 

Captain Frank Brenha Jr. looking for fish for 15 hours each day.

What could go wrong, right?  Weather. The first day there were large swells and five seasick passengers.  The second day we had PERFECT conditions and one lady who had NEVER been fishing before was sick.  If you want to go fishing there are half day boats I recommend trying first before committing to 22 hours of misery.

Day 2 gorgeous weather!

Fish don’t want to bite.  Both days we had this problem.  The first day we headed South into Mexican waters and came back with 6 fish.  I had one briefly on the troll but it came off.  It’s called a short bite. 

The boats that fished North had nice bluefin bites.  It took 3 more hours to get there, burning an extra $2000 in fuel approximately, and cutting 5 hours off of fishing time to head North to San Clemente Islands.   Most one day boats won’t bother.  The numbers don’t add up, but when that’s where the fish are what choice do you have?  Unfortunately, they wouldn’t bite.  We had 5 fish for the day.  I caught one very small skipjack tuna. 

Little skipjack
The rest of the fish from day 2.

I’m going to skip a few things and jump to the biggest factor that changes any trip and that’s people! The first day there were a better caliber of anglers all around. Most had a good to excellent equipment, knew what to do, and even though fishing was slow, took the day in stride, and had fun.

That’s a custom wrap job on a passenger’s rod day 1.

One guy, Mike, was so upbeat and just happy to be there that it was infectious. I said to the Captain that on slow days it’s nice to have a positive guy like him. Keeps up everyone’s morale. We tried to find fish until the very end, and not only was it well known by all thanks to Mr. Mike Morale, the passengers were grateful for the effort. Only one guy was a drunk idiot when he got on board and we barely saw him the next day. Highly rare by the way. On a Friday there’s typically a handful of overindulgent weekend warriors.

Day two was a different story. More than a handful had inappropriate equipment, had no idea what they were doing, and hadn’t bothered to learn even the most simplest of tasks like how to tie on a hook, bait said hook, or work their equipment. With all the TV shows, YouTube videos, and podcasts’ available it ASTOUNDS me people would pay $300 just to get on the boat completely ignorant of the activity they were embarking on.

Right off the bat a loud-mouthed know it all started flapping his gums about all he knew and how upset he was that the boat was headed North. I explained that we were heading that direction because it was the best place to catch fish according to the fleet’s numbers. Boats there caught fish, and the three boats South did not, us included. He went on an on about how he couldn’t catch bluefin tuna due to his crones disease. Not sure why he was on an offshore boat, because that’s the FIRST species we’re after. On and on he went throughout the ENTIRE trip complaining to EVERYONE about how unhappy he was. Lucky for him the tuna didn’t bite because his focking bass reel would’ve gotten spooled and smoked the bearings.

He thought we should anchor up at the island even though the U.S. Navy was doing LIVE fire exercises and we were supposed to stay 20 miles away.

This is the back of the douches’ head.

For the people who didn’t know any better they listened to his endless negativity and thought the Captain made some grievous error in judgment by going North. I hopped from sheep to sheep trying to undo his lies feeling like I was trying to convince them my politician was doing the right thing. I’ve never in my life met a fishing boat Captain that didn’t do EVERYTHING in his power to catch FISH! This snot nose little fxckhead with the nose ring ruined a damn nice day at sea for a lot of passengers!

As for me, I was sorry for my friend, Captain Frank, who I know was frustrated and tired. The crew who had held heavy gyro binoculars for 16 each day looking for fish and didn’t deserve to hear his shit. I was grateful for the previous day and the great people on board. I wish I could’ve gone back out and wiped today off the books. I told each person that I would be happy to go out again even if I KNEW I wouldn’t catch a fish! Attitude is everything! I LOVE going fishing!

New fisherman Debbie and Dora Downer to the left, Liz and I on the right.
Liz, long time friend and I having a great time trolling!

Piece by Peace

The day started so well..

My excitement had me awake 30 minutes before the alarm went off at home in Boise.  I was at the airport 30 minutes earlier than I needed to be.  Finally after the pandemic, I was going fishing in San Diego and seeing the people I have loved for 25 plus years!  Everything went AMAZINGLY WELL! 

Taking off

First class ticket for $250, AWESOME, rental car $16/day, incredible room ( privileged info as ex-employee), no lines, anywhere, and it couldn’t be more perfect!

Rental car bus all to myself.
Beautiful room with a view

Spent a little time at the pool

Had lunch with a fabulous friend ALL before 1pm!  What an AMAZING DAY!

The birds were happy, I was happy

Then halfway through a fabulous fish taco I crunched down on something hard and my drama free vacation changed.  Radiaton caught up with me again.  I was told that radiation would destroy the enamel on my teeth and they would have to be replaced.  Until the fish taco I had all my original teeth.  The crunch was a piece of the loss of my first tooth.  Hello drama.  SHIT!  Does 2020 want something else?  Kidney perhaps?  No problem!  I have insurance for that!  Now instead of enjoying my little getaway I have to get to Tijuana and find a Dentist.

I did get on the Producer out of H and M landing, and am laying in my bunk letting the roll of the ocean infuse my body with peace and serenity.   I will handle the other piece on Monday but for the next few days I will enjoy my beautiful Pacific and see if she will let me catch a few fish 🐟 😉

I’ve been wrong before….

I would love someone to contradict me.

Like most people I was told there are 2 sides to every story. When I studied philosophy I realized my own ignorance.   Stories are dimensional, time, perception, and relevance.  

Democrats fought with soldier’s lives to keep slavery. KKK was started by the Democrats, and I thought I had to be one too. I didn’t know you could love unconditionally AND support Regan.

When you are a soldier in wartime and you kill doesn’t make you a murderer.  I had an abortion when I was a kid, and I feel like a murderer.

I was raised by lesbians, and was told they were going to rot in hell because of their sexuality.  My Aunts had a first class seat to the pearly gates..

Then the priest were exposed as pedophiles and NEVER sent to prison.

In politics I see both sides and there’s danger lurking.  In the new Judge there’s danger on both sides.  I hope that a Judge upholds the law and justice prevails.  I hope a lot!

I pray for peace.  I wish all crime and hate could be removed.  When I see, hear, and feel the opposite prevailing I’m going to take a stand!  I meant crime and hate.

I will listen.  I am not above change.

If you hurt your fellow man I will do everything I can to see you brought to justice.   That’s it. 

Tonight’s topic…

Sorry it’s been so long, but I had trouble getting back. The new phone and this app are not working well. This is to important to not battle the technology!

Tonight a topic came up and I wanted to share.

This is from a private support group, but I know these same feelings are struggles for women, everyday on some level, since before the mirror was invented…

QUESTION:

Hi guys just wondering if any of you have gone through how I’m feeling at the moment???
So I keeping thinking about the person I was before cancer and how much I miss me
Is this normal??
I’m a 13 months post treatment

(Tears welled in my eyes, even now, knowing this pain. So I had to kick out of pity mode. Here is my response to a woman who is drowning. I was her not so long ago, like this morning putting on lip liner.)

REPLY:

Of course!!! I aged 20 years in 1, but we are WARRIORS and SURVIVORS! 8 surgeries 10 hospitalizations and 2 years later I now own 6 companies i knew nothing about!

Cancer cannot take how much you love! Don’t ever give the power to the disease or struggle! Find instead the undeniable STRENGTH and POWER in you !!! Days of self doubt will come and go! Look back pre-cancer, you ALWAYS had those days!!! If you allow depression to take over and call it “cancer” you were just waiting for the right excuse all along. FIGHT! FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!!!

..so, to all of you

START each day from a place of LOVE! It’s the strongest weapon you have! Love yourself and each other! That’s the ONLY way!

Reactions to calling out Dad..

The responses deserves to be here…

Aunt Pat, Mom’s sister, says..I don’t understand why you would post this if we are to cast everything that is not of God wouldnt that be past hurts, abuse, misunderstandings?? Like your Mom & Mick who have done So much for you when you were hurting and in pain and needing help with finances? We all love you and have prayed constantly for your health. What hurts the most is knowing all the people who have read your posts and believe us all to be just a terrible family. We ALL have been through tough times you can choose to find a way to handle it or let it rule your life. THE CHOICE IS YOURS or choose to help others who have been hurt. WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST

Mom says,, Andy
Mickey and I love you. We all have faced moments when frustration leads us to lash out. These last few years you have endured much more than anyone can imagine. I thought allowing you to vent would run it’s course. I was clearly incorrect. Relationships are best served with healthy doses of honesty on all sides. We all make choices over the years that we regret. Mickey and I included but I have a marriage that I cherish. We all have incidents that define or shape our lives. Only you can choose how those events shape you. If Eric molested you in your childhood i am sorry. Most women i know have been me included. I do not however allow it to rule my life. I hope someday you will choose to focus on all the love you have in your life rather than the negative.
Mickey and I both have made mistakes in our relationship but Mickey loves you and me. He is my choice as a life partner and he is a good person. Please paint us as fairly as we do you. Only you can choose what to do with your life but I hope you CHOOSE to focus on the family that asks for the same support you want from us. Love and honesty.

I said..It’s interesting how many people lurk in my blog. You’re choices, Micks manipulative and your health has suffered. Nothing i can do but pray for your safety, and worry, as I have endlessly since you moved to Missouri and now Orlando. Since you have broken ribs, clearly I have a reason to worry. I love you, I want the best for you. Now, at best you are 7 hours away by plane in one of the county’s largest outbreak of the pandemic. GREAT plan considering both of your underlying issues. How did you feel when I was in the hospital for 7 days at Christmas and you couldn’t get to me? What I will do is help my friends and family as much as I can. Which now isn’t much. The state is only recommending I quarantine for 14 days. Who knows what will change. I have been honest. Mickey is a generous man, no doubt about it. I’ve watched him give away your money for years. I’ve watched him cost you your house, lose your savings, gamble everything away, pay for everyone’s way, and on and on. I saw you afraid to go into Walmart during the day without his escort because you were scared. Now you’re in the second highest crime city in Florida. Is it too much to ask that you live in a safe city in the entire state? 🤔

Mom replied – Do you really think I have no voice in where I live and how I spend the money that both Mickey and I have made over the 33 years we have been together? You make me sound pathetic like I have no voice. Anyone who knows me will confirm that perception is inaccurate. All of our kids have benefited from the gifts that we have distributed, you included. Giving up the house was my decision and mine alone as it was in my name. Yes Mickey went through a learning curve 30 years ago when he first started consulting and it cost both he and I a lot. I alone made the decision to stay with Mick and give up the house. That is my right. I would not want to be judged for poor decisions made half a life time ago. I can fall and crack a rib anywhere even in Boise. There are few places today that can escape the proximity of crime. That is why Mickey and I choose Guard gated communities and have CCWs. Mickey has not gambled for 20 years or mare. Can you please focus on your own life instead of trying to tear mine apart. Both Mickey and I love you but both of us want to live in Florida. Our choice is Florida for many reasons and yes the virus is here and everywhere else. We are responsible for keeping ourselves safe. We have made life changes here that are improving our weight and health and we are happy. Please try to be happy for us. We love you but need your support not your criticism. At 75 years of age I think I have earned the right to live where I want however Mickey and I will always love and support you from wherever we are. 🙏Please.

There were 2 other reactions but I screwed up…

I’m calling out..thanks Dad

So, I had 8 surgeries and 54 weeks of treatment in 2 years.  Mom came 3 times to help me.  Stepdad..zero. I was told he had to work. Didn’t have to work when he wanted to hunt or fish.

You all hooked your trailer to the wrong team. MOM made way more money than Mick. She is the one in trouble now, and not a single Harris will help.

Mom keeps trying to tell me Mick loves me. 

He came to Idaho to visit 3 times.  Once when I was told I had cancer.  Twice to hunt Elk.

In 2019 I was released from the hospital on Christmas Eve. No one came. I had not one family member come.

I had such high hopes for a good family.

How could I have been this dumb?