Six Years Without Daddy

January 21, 2013

Elton John Red Piano 1

“You have my whole heart. You always did. You're the best guy. You always were.”
-Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Elton John Red Piano 2


Life According to Ashy Poo

November 18, 2012

Ashy Poo 8-09

Ashy Poo in 2009

If you had come to my door sometime in the last twelve years, my official welcoming committee – consisting of one rescued FlamePoint Siamese lover boy – would have greeted you with something like this:

“My name's Ashy Poo, what's your name? Do you have any cheese in that bag? Do you think I'm pretty? Do you have any dogs? Are you going to sit down so I can sit by you? What's that smell on your shoes? Do you want to pet me? Do you have any chips? Isn't my blonde hair stunning? Can you get me some treats? Can I play with your shoelaces? Did you know I used to live on the street? Have you ever seen a tail as long as mine? Don't you think my mom is nice? Do you want to brush me?” And on and on. Rapid fire, without a breath. Ashy Poo never met a stranger, and loved everyone.

Ashy Blue Nails

Ashy showing off his blue mani

Ashy dealt with a LOT of challenges in his life, and I wonder what our attitude would be if we faced all of this in one twelve-year period:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bartonella
  • Chronic gum disease which left you with three teeth
  • Heart disease
  • Out of control hyperthyroidism
  • One blind eye from a cataract
  • One displaced kneecap
  • Early signs of kidney disease
  • Anemia
  • IBS
  • Car sickness every road trip (involving both ends!)
  • Multiple gunshot wounds from a childhood attack, which left a pellet in your hip and probably caused the cataract and knee problem too

Beautiful freckle-faced one

Just imagine how many doctor visits and how many medications were involved in all that! I can tell you my state of mind would probably be “poor, poor me” if that was my life, but Ashy Poo didn't feel that way at all.


God's handiwork

Life – according to Ashy Poo – is beautiful.

Ashy Warrie Gaby

Ashy with Warren Bitey and Gaby in 2004

Ashy Poo had a pretty simple list of life principles, and no one lived them out like he did:

  • Never stop purring, no matter what. No. Matter. What.
  • No one is a stranger and everyone is your friend. Why wouldn't they be your newest fan? You're awesome!
  • Trust everyone, even if people have proven to be untrustworthy. Even if you get hurt, keep trusting.
  • Never let anyone see that you don't feel well. It only upsets your family if they think you're puny. Just hide under the bed for a little while and sleep til you can act well again.
  • If you have to wear a silly hat from time to time, so be it. It's a small price to pay to make people smile. Besides, you look so darn CUTE in hats! Draw the line at wearing a sweater though.
  • There's nothing to be afraid of! Not vacuum cleaners, not hair dryers, not car rides, not strangers, not even death. Just live and don't be skerd! Fear is a waste of energy and emotion.
  • Don't give up. Fight through whatever comes your way…starvation, homelessness, illness, gunshots. Whatever. Just push through it and don't give up.
  • Bounce back and be a trooper! When everyone gives up on you, you bounce back like the Energizer Bunny and keep on ticking. Prove the doubters wrong.
  • Show gratitude for your family and your home. Not everyone is blessed with a safe home with a warm bed, yummy food and people who love you. Always be thankful and remember where you came from.
  • Choose a mom with a couple of credit cards with high limits if you can. You never know what the future holds.
  • Never get hissy or huffy with your mom. If she says eat, you eat til you're full. If she says go to the doctor, you go to the doctor and make new friends. If she says take medicine, you take medicine cheerfully and spit it out when she isn't looking. If she calls you, you come running. She might want to kiss you.
  • Always remember that you're special. There's no one else like you. God made you unique and the world needs you to be you.
  • Never lose your dignity. Dignity isn't dependent on your situation, it's dependent on your attitude.
  • Rule your house with a soft voice and a velvet paw. Keep your brothers in line. Someone has to be the boss!
  • Leave your mark on this world so no one can forget the difference you made. Leave blonde hair everywhere too.
  • Love everyone. That's all.
Ashy Hay

Ashy with HayHay the day we brought him home from the Siamese Rescue in December 2000.


That's the walk that Ashy Poo walked for the twelve years he spent with us. His long list of challenges finally got to be too much for his fragile body, and we suddenly lost him last Monday.

We miss this boy like crazy. We invested so much hope, emotion, time and love into this precious soul, and we fought his challenges together for a long time. It's weird that all that is just gone now, and our lives feel off balance in every way.

I'm very thankful that he knew how much we were all madly in love with him, beyond a shadow of a doubt. He knew he was cherished, and as he was taking his last breaths I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to tell him that again and again.

Ashy leaves behind his lonely furry brother Gaby, and a huge extended family of hoomans who loved him and won't forget his sweet spirit and the lessons he taught us. We'll do our best to follow his example, and even thought we're beyond sad, we're going to purr again.

That's what Ashy Poo would want us to do. Keep on purring. Because life according to Ashy Poo is beautiful, and the life he's living right now is more beautiful than any of us can imagine. We'll see you again, Ashy Poo. We love you and we miss you, sweet baby. Forgive us if we can't find our purr just yet.



Armed Forces Day

May 19, 2012


Do you know what Armed Forces Day is? We didn't, until now.

According to, this is how, why and when it originated:

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and
thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day
to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. 

The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

If BigSis and I are being completely honest, we never knew nor could possibly understand the sacrifices that military families make on a daily basis until we had a family member in the U.S. Military. Unfortunately, we now know how hard it is to say goodbye to family, even if it's only temporary.

(To my lovely, brave daughter-in-law, who also serves in our U.S. Navy; if you're reading this, I know that being away from your hubby and your sweet baby is the hardest thing you've ever had to do. I want you to know how proud we are of you and how much we appreciate all you do for all of us. We miss you!)

We both want to take this opportunity to thank every Veteran, every family member of a Veteran who has lost their life while serving our country, and every single man and woman who serves in our U.S. Military today.

We appreciate and respect the daily sacrifices that each individual and their family makes to protect every one of us individually and our country as a whole.

Last year on Memorial Day, I mentioned Operation Appreciation that was held here at the Oceanside Pier in honor of Military Appreciation Day. My son who is in the U.S. Navy participated in a demonstration that day and I was so excited to finally be able to see just a little bit of what he does when he's on the job. Here's a photo of him in action during that demonstration.

This was a proud moment for me.

And the day I saw him graduate from the U.S. Navy was one of the proudest days of my life.

Our family couldn't be more proud of what he and his wife have accomplished during the past two years.

Again, thank you all from both of us.

Thank you for your service and for your sacrifice!


Butterfly Inspired Birthday

April 22, 2012

There's a good reason why BigSis and I were missing in action for over a week.


Last Saturday, I had an wonderful lunch with my girlfriends at one of my favorite spots by the beach; then when we returned home from lunch, I was surprised with an amazing birthday party!

I couldn't believe it when I realized that my sister was here in California for my party. 🙂  BigSis left on Saturday after a week of much needed ‘sister time' and lots and lots of yummy Mexican food! (We went to a different spot every day.)

For many reasons, the symbolic butterfly has a very special meaning to me on this birthday. I've had a super fun birthday week full of wonderful family, the best of friends and many butterfly surprises.

(We're both returning to work tomorrow; but I hope to share a few photos at some point this week.)


In Loving Memory

January 21, 2012

Each year on this date we take time to acknowledge the anniversary of our Dad's passing.  Today is the fifth anniversary.

It's hard to put into words, but some days it seems like it's been forever since we've seen him or talked to him and on other days, it feels like it was just yesterday.

Our dad was a photographer for most of his life and growing up we even had a darkroom in our garage. It was always fascinating to watch him develop his own photos.

In memory of our dad and his love of photography, today I thought I'd share with you some of my son's photography. We are slowly but surely working on a Haden Bauer Photography website and some day, hopefully soon, you'll be able to see more of his awesome photos, which mainly reflect his love of surfing, sunrises, and sunsets.


 Haden's Pappy would be very proud.


Poinsettias, poinsettias, and more poinsettias!

December 1, 2011

Know what a 6oo foot long greenhouse full of beautiful pots of poinsettias looks like?

Answer: Gorgeous!

BigSis and I took a little road trip with a couple of friends to a local casino the other day just for a little penny-slot playing and lunch by the pool in some nice, warm sunshine!

On the way back, we decided to make an impromptu visit to Zalinda Farms, which happens to have the largest selection of poinsettias that I've ever seen! I didn't know it, but California is the top growing state for poinsettias in the U.S.

(It was so much fun being in the middle of all these flowers.)

Unfortunately, BigSis is allergic to these beautiful flowers so she stayed back with our friend, G, while Patty and I took a few quick pics. Even though they were closing, the owner was nice enough to let us in for just a few minutes. (We probably did beg just a little bit.) 🙂

Christmas Poinsettias

Christmas Poinsettias

They had so many varieties of poinsettias to choose from but this was one of my favorites!

Christmas Poinsettias

Our time together while BigSis was here in California flew by faster than ever but we had a great time, as usual! BigSis is back in Dallas now and we both had to get back to reality and back to work today.

Since the big Charity Bake Sale is right around the corner, I'm sure we'll be hearing from BigSis about some of the goodies that she's working on. Hopefully, she'll have time to share with everyone a quick “how to” on some gorgeous glittery gift boxes that she made for the Bake Sale.  🙂



November 26, 2011

BigSis arrived here in San Diego yesterday just in time for us to celebrate her birthday today!

It's gorgeous here this weekend so we're heading down to the beach for some much needed R&R and are planning on taking some time to unwind. Hopefully we'll be back in a few days with some fun photos to share! 🙂



Where did August go?

August 30, 2011

Last week was crazy and sad.

Sadly, we said our goodbyes at the airport on Monday at the end of our 10 day vacay, then it was back to school shopping for me and back to work for both of us on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the week ended with BigSis and SisMama attending a funeral for a family friend who's life was cut way too short.

Sometimes things happen in life that make you slow down, take a deep breath, and pay attention to what's most important in life.

For both of us, it's our family and our health; and we try really hard to remember that on a daily basis. We know that it can all be taken away in an instant.

Even though August is almost gone, we do have a couple of fun dates to celebrate. Tonight we're celebrating a big one; HayHay's 18th birthday, and tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary.

Sadly, Summer will soon be coming to an end but since we've got Labor Day weekend just a few days away, we'll have one last “big blowout” celebration with friends on Sunday before Fall arrives.


Once BigSis& I can catch our breath, we'll be back in a few days; hopefully in full force. 🙂


San Diego Vacay: Last Day!

August 22, 2011

This was the first photo we took on the first day of our San Diego Vacay.

Big Sis, SisMama, and Lil Sis at Cafe Coyote

A week ago Saturday, I picked everyone up at the San Diego airport and we drove directly to Cafe Coyote in Old Town for some awesome Mexican food and cold beverages.

Sadly, our much anticipated ten day vacay flew by faster than ever…

This last morning of our ten day vacay just involved a quick breakfast, a run to a t-shirt shop for some souvenirs for friends, and a trip to Trader Joe's so BigSis and SisMama could stock up on some things that can't be bought in Texas; YET! *

* (TJ's has announced that they are FINALLY opening stores in Texas very soon and one of the first will be in Dallas, so BigSis is thrilled!)

We had a great time these past ten days and did almost everything on our “wish list”; so we're happy, but sad to say goodbye. 🙁

Next stop: Reality. Back. To. Work.




San Diego Vacay: Day Nine

August 21, 2011

Hotel del Coronado Sign


Hotel del Coronado BSLS

Our last full day of vacation was spent at Hotel del Coronado on Coronado Island.  It's a gorgeous Victorian hotel which was built in 1888.  It's beautiful and full of old character and charm.

Hotel del Coronado Outside

Oh, and one other little detail…it's also said to be haunted.

In 1892, a young woman named Kate Morgan was found dead on the steps of the hotel, and her death was ruled a suicide.  In 1990, however, an author investigated the case and believes she was murdered by her husband, who then also murdered a hotel maid.

Legend has it that Kate roams the hotel; and there are numerous accounts of strange happenings that are credited to Kate's unrest.  On one occasion, a woman's face appeared on a television screen by several people…and the TV was turned off.

We all agreed the Hotel del Coronado was one of the most stunning properties we've ever seen, but at the same time it was slightly eerie.

Hotel del Coronado Chairs

Hay was so creeped out by the feeling he got in the hotel that he didn't even eat anything when we stopped for a snack.  That's pretty unusual for an 18 year old eating machine, don't you think?

Hotel del Coronado 3312 Hall

We love this property, but we definitely don't want to spend a night in the third floor rooms where both Kate and the hotel maid spent their last day.  Here are some photos from the day trip.  We'll talk later about what we found inside.

Hotel del Coronado Lobby

Hotel del Coronado 1

Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado Oceanview