What of life?

Nina is still with us and peaceful in her bed.

Nina sleeping 12/28/17

It is a quintessential winter Southern California day. Crystal clear blue skies, bright winter sun and 72 degrees F. Nina has spent some time on her patio today, eaten well and napped in her beloved corner bed. Our housekeeper, whom Nina adores, is here cleaning. The other dogs are napping and occasionally barking at the construction workers doing the remodel next door. All in all a nothing unusual beautiful day. It is peaceful with just a little stimulation.

Planning it out couldn’t have turned it better. Our dog sitter who was with me as we rescued Nina together is out of town. Nina adores her as well and she will be back in San Diego tomorrow. She is coming over to be here with us when the veterinarian arrives about 5 pm. Tomorrow is forecast to be as beautiful as today. The Better Half already had scheduled the whole week off, so between the two of us someone will always be home tomorrow.

Earlier Abner and Patsy tried out the comfort of four beds piled together when or housekeeper was busy cleaning…

Patsy (with toy) and Abner reinact the Princess and the Pea. 

The joys of life are abundant around here. It’s not gloom and doom. It’s sweet, with the bitterness of reality. The big questions loom. Why? Why are we here? What? What is this about?

Should we loose ourselves in contemplation of the unknown? Or should we just enjoy the moment even though we know the inevitable?

My answer? Enjoy the moment.

I believe there is one sole purpose for life. The purpose I believe in is love.

I am here to love. I am here to share. I am here to give. I am here to serve.

What are giving, serving and sharing? Love.

I am here to love. Period.

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Family

We are blessed. We have two families. The one we were born into and the one we choose.

Our natal families folded into one larger family after we settled into our life together. I into The Better Half’s, he into mine and ours into each other. This made for one big family that blessed us even more.

Living away from our family for many years allowed us to choose a chosen family of good friends who care and love each other as if we had always been and will continue to be. This family is large and blesses our home with more than 30 holiday celebrants each and every Christmas Day. Our blessing overflows.

Our friends extend beyond or natal family and our chosen family into our work, interests, neighbors, bloggers, vacation acquaintances and just plain old good friends who live both near and far. Our bounty of blessings humble us.

Love, respect and sincerity are the basis of this blessing we call family.

This most recent trip filled our cup. I met with two blog buddies for a wonderful dinner. Unfortunately the third wasn’t able to join due to an illness but we sent our love to him in hopes that better days lie ahead. We, the better half & I, then set off via Amtrack to New York with part of my natal family for one of those experiences that money could never buy (but definitely helps with😉).

You see after the loss of my father I asked my mother, who had been caring for him, where had she always wanted to go. She said New York to see The Rockettes. That was her dream. Not Paris, not London, not even Hawaii. I promised her then that we would take her to New York. It took two years and she lost her oldest son before it happened, but it happened. We made a family trip out of it with Mom, me, The Better Half, my brother, sister-in-law, niece, her husband, two great grandchildren and a nephew.

Family

Nothing, no nothing will ever mean as much to me as my mother grabbing my hand after the curtain fell at the end of The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular as tears streamed down her face as she said “I have never seen anything so beautiful!” They exceeded her expectations and believe me she had high expectations.

For her to have her family with her on a trip she had only dreamed of all of her life, a dream she probably thought would never come to be, was truly a dream come true. I cannot express my gratitude for the blessing that that moment, my family and life truly is.

The moral of this post, at least for me, is that this is our one life, so live it, love it, share it, and give it. Give it to your natal family, or your chosen family, or both. Give it to someone you meet, you work with, you run into or even to someone you don’t know at all. Give a smile, share a laugh, respect, understand, forgive, serve and most of all love. Just love.

Entering Macy’s Herald Square entrance during the debut moment of holiday decorations.

The employees lined the side of the aisle and cheered us as we entered the store, Stunning

Lady Liberty

911 Memorial, -emotional-

Fearsome Photobombing in Time Square

Sightseeing under Lady Liberty

3rd row Center Stage at Radio City

Santa

The Rockettes

Up front and close enough to see their smiles!

From 5 to 85, New York is fabulous, family makes it even better!

Halloween prezzy!

Look what the better half surprised me with today…

Apple Watch Series 3

Stainless Steel 42mm with the Milanese loop band and full cellular capabilities.

Fearsome is ecstatic, he can’t wait to stream music, read texts and make calls with it.

It’s actually an early Christmas present but who could wait? I’ve already set up an appointment with my Verizon rep to go in and activate it at 10 am mañana.

Thank you Edith

Edith Windsor 6/20/1929-9/12/2017

Edith is a hero of mine. Edith will be missed but never forgotten. It was her Supreme Court Case that struck down the Defense of Marriage act in 2013 thus causing the federal government to recognize my legal marriage in California from 2008.

I read that a quote of hers was “Don’t Postpone Joy”. I haven’t been able to personally verify this quote as hers, but I think it fitting.

Thank you Edith for helping humanity get just a little better one step at a time.

Home

A young single parent trapped with no money and no job grabs their child and leaves their home for another place. A place where they know no one. A place where they don’t know the language, culture or customs. However it’s a place with hope. Hope that they may work and raise their child with a brighter future.

That child is raised lovingly with a parent who struggles and works hard contributing in this foreign land. This foreign land is only foreign to their parent for this land is all the child knows. For the child this land is home.

A home where the child knows the language, customs and culture. A home where this child has been educated, played sports, made friends and is part of the community fabric. Both the parent and the child have shared, worked and contributed toward betterment in the community in which they landed. The child knows nothing else.

Today that child is a college educated responsible young adult. They not only hold a good job with a bright future, they create other jobs through their contributions to the community which is their home. Today this child is often called a Dreamer.

Until yesterday their future was bright, secure and full of possibilities just as their parent had dreamed. Unfortunately today there is a cloud hanging over those who stepped forward, were honest and were within the law.

What can I do to help lift that cloud and bring the light of hope back to those who know  this as their only home?

I can speak up.

I can contact my SENATOR.

I can contact my CONGRESSPERSON.

I can contact The White HOUSE.

I can contact my GOVERNOR.

I can speak out, be visible, attend protests and support Candidates who represent good solid true American values of progress and equality.

I can donate to organizations that will stand up and legally challenge those politicians with tiny closed minds who represent greed and hate. Organizations like ACLU, SPLC and Lambda Legal.

I can support and subscribe to news organizations that have real reporters investigating and calling out not only unethical behaviors but possible criminal activity thus reporting real news. News organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. 

Please feel free to use these short cuts as all of the highlighted words are links to the very webpages they state…or find your own. Please join Fearsome and I in standing up for righteousness, justice, equality, respect, hope, love and the American dream.

Love. Please don’t let love die.

Luxating Patellas

Our beautiful little recent family additions, Phoebe & Betty, came into our home due in part to their continuing medical needs …and honestly because I fell in love with them.

Betty & Phoebe

They weren’t just your average three pound cute little homeless 1 year old Yorkshire Terriers who would have been adopted before they even made it into the shelters. They are both medical needs fur babies who had grade 4 Medial Luxating Patellas. In other words the inbreeding that occurred to create smaller than normal dogs in the puppy mill to which they were born, led them to have a hereditary birth defect where their tiny little knee caps aren’t in the groove on the front of their tiny knees, but off to the insides of both legs completely leaving bone on bone scraping.

Thanks to The San Diego Humane Society, these two escaped the hell of a total of 170+ Yorkies being hoarded in one house that was obviously breeding and selling to boutique puppy markets. They had been at the shelter since February under contestant medical care for severely infected ears & hernias while they awaited medical fosters. We came along in May and fostered them to adopt, starting with Phoebe and adding Betty 5 days later, and adopt we did. We are blessed with the means and the ability to give them the surgeries they will need to correct their birth defects.

Successful is what their surgeon said when he called me after each one had their first leg operated on. Complicated was a term he described their tiny tiny knee cap surgeries. Betty’s being a bit more involved than Phoebe’s more straightforward anatomy defect. Their surgeries were yesterday. We will not see them for about 10 days. Last night was lonely in my bed without them. The surgeon’s wife is their physical therapist and will keep them to manage their pain and to get them started on the road to recovery. Once they can bear weight on the leg with the cast and can take a step they will get to come home. She will work with us training us to continue their therapy and meeting with us to check progress and add more excercises.

In six weeks they will go for their second surgeries to complete the needed repairs. In about 8 months we will complete their therapy and have two almost normal tiny 3 lb Yorkies who will be able to have long, healthy and hopefully pain free lives.

Is your god dead?

Fearsome Beard …a place for beards to contemplate and to grow their souls.

It’s been a while and it’s due time Fearsome did just that.

Contemplate.

Every human has their own personal right to have, or have not, a relationship with a power, an essence, a universe, an energy or a god of their own choosing. Common human decency, at least my common human decency, allows one to respect all others in their choices surrounding such personal matters.

I call the power of my choosing god. God is a simple word, or acronym if you will, that stands for good orderly direction, or group of drunks, or is simply dog spelled backward.  My god is love. Period. Love. (My dogs are love too, what a coincidence.)

How do I treat my brother? Do I show love? Do I respect? Do I even acknowledge?

Is my god dead?

How about you? Is your god, or something like it, dead?

The New York Times article under the highlighted word “HERE” below is worth the read whether you have, or have not, a source energy outside of yourself. The article is about being human. Being a good human.

Click HERE to go to said article and contemplate on a deeper level.

I’m not perfect. I will never be perfect. I can strive to be better. I can strive to remember to love, to remember to respect, to remember to share. I can try, and try to try daily. I can love.

Remembering

We are a nation of many religions, beliefs, atheists & agnostics. Freedom means the freedom to believe in any or no religions. One is free to choose what and if they believe. Our constitution protects these freedoms.

In remembering those who have served and those we have lost we here at Fearsome Beard believe it is important to respect all beliefs and or lack thereof.

Religions, beliefs and lack thereof are a choice we live, enjoy and practice.

There is ultimately a deeper level to what we are to each other. The level of relationship which transcends these belief practices.

Remember with love, respect and compassion.

Happy Memorial Day to all the Yanks out there. May all our dear readers, no matter where they are, remember someone they loved and lost today and feel the gratitude for the gift.

Love, smiles and purr

Yes Fearsome is posting a cat video, kittens no less. It will make your day a better day.

This is just one of the many reasons we support The San Diego Humane Society. This feature short highlights their kitten nursery that cares for, nurses to health, spays, neuters and manages to find homes for more than 5,000 kittens a year. Yes that is FIVE THOUSAND kittens per year.

The San Diego Humane Society “got to zero” in July 2014 and has remained at zero since that date.

“Zero” means that zero rehabilitatable animals are euthanized by this facility. We are proud to stand with and support such a facility.

Could it be that maybe we are fostering a second Yorkie? Maybe a cousin of Phoebe?

Why yes we are, and her name is Betty!

Betty

Why we call SoCal home…

Home.

I don’t know what it is about San Diego, Los Angeles and Southern California as a whole but whatever it is, it is home. Maybe it’s the sun, the air, the mountains, breezes, ocean, hills, freeways, people, cars, homes, cities, suburbs, hopes, dreams, vistas, countryside, beaches, life, joy, fashion, magic, attitude, possibilities, absurdity, freedoms, love, expression, beauty, people, diversity, aspirations, desert, wildlife, vibration, temperature, light, opportunities, allure…or maybe just the illusion.

When I sat with a dear friend in a dark theatre in my second home, Ft. Lauderdale Florida, one evening in early January this scene opened La La Land. Tears of joy steamed out of my eyes, into Fearsome then dripped upon my shirt. The beauty, hope and life of the place I love were right there upon the big screen. I saw a celebration of life and of home. Life as a carefully coreagraphed song and dance upon a closed freeway overpass. Beauty is simply where one finds it, as it is always there.

This is my home.

I wish you love in your home. Feel it, embrace it.

🎶Another day of sun, It’s just another day of sun!🎵

Abner turns 7

Abner

Abner came to live with us 5 years ago today. Since he was dropped at an emergency vet with multiple injuries and no information we do not know his actual birthday nor age. He was estimated to be about 2 years old at the time. We adopted him from the pound where he had received veterinary care for his eviserated eye, multiple lacerations and broken foot.

We decided that his adoption day would be his birthday and since he started his life with us at about 2 he would be 7 years old today.

Abner is a happy boy. Abner is an inspiration. Abner is pure joy. Abner is a blessing.

Happy Birthday Abner!

Ready Beard

So now they wanna fuck with trans children?

Children.

As a society we are to force a child that is born into a body that doesn’t match the child’s gender, a child that already feels different, a child that is more often than not outcast from said child’s peers to have to fucking pee in the bathroom of the sex that doesn’t match the very person the child actually is?

Fearsome in his new Pussy Hat

Fearsome in his new Pussy Hat

A very dear friend, whom I simply adore, made Fearsome his very own Pussy Hat. It arrived yesterday and couldn’t have been more timely. Fearsome is protest ready.

As a child I used to pee before leaving home to go to school. I would not pee again until I got home after school. I often held it for more than 8 hours. I lived in fear of the bullying I received daily for being different. I was effeminate and perceived by the boys in my school as being weak. I was the safe one who they could pick on, taunt and beat up to prove their masculinity to one another. They didn’t fear the queer boy as being able to hurt them back. All this and my body matched my identity. I identified as male, albeit an effeminate one. I can’t imagine the torment of the body not matching my actual self and being subject to the cruelty of immature insecure school age peers.

It’s time to stand up for those who are being shut out. It’s time to stand up for children. It’s time to stand up for what is right. It’s time to stand up for ourselves. It’s time to stand up before it’s too late. We didn’t come this far to go backward.

Not enough?

Not any longer.

We came this far to love enough. We came this far to care enough.

Join us.

With a love that’s true…Always

A dear Blogger friend married his Someone of 20 years today in Palm Springs. We, Fearsome and I, were honored to have been able to attend. The wedding was kept secret, for the most part, to keep it a simple quiet occasion at the Riverside County administration offices. Fearsome was a last minute Best Man, Larry & Tim were the handy witnesses, Ron was the spur of the moment photographer and Pat was the official accidental visiting foreign dignitary.

The added bonus was that the dearest blogger friend was asked to witness a wedding for a couple that was there all alone just the two of them who were obviously very much in love.

I’m verklempt.

Michael & David AKA UrSpo & Harper's Keeper

Michael & David
AKA UrSpo & Harper’s Keeper

David & Fearsome photobombed by Michael

David & Fearsome photobombed by Michael

The rings

The rings

The wedding party

The wedding party

Mrs. Evans

A couple days ago I started organizing my paperwork for my tax accountant. I’m one of those who has a big file drawer who throws the entire year into it unorganized but in the drawer. Each February I empty the drawer in order to separate all receipts, bills, documents and the like into a proper order for accumulating the data necessary to file taxes for a self employed person. It’s quite the monumentous task.

I have rituals to make it a tolerable task.

First I go in knowing have planted some cards or notes that I have received in the past in that drawer the year before to stumble upon to break up the monotony. I started this years ago. I move the cards back into the drawer each year from the year before so I can find them Year after year as hidden treasures. Each year a new card or note makes its way into this collection, something that is special and evokes personal emotion. The cards get mixed up in there so I never know when I will happen upon one.

Then upon emptying the drawer I find the place on the internet where the Maya Angelou Master Class, which I posted a couple days back, is now located. It’s always bootleggely posted somewhere until the powers that own it find it and then it will show up in some other obscure place. I then proceed to play this 42 minute Master Class on a continueous loop as background listening. It motivates me while it reinforces my personal values as well as those I strive to obtain.

Once my drawer is dumped out on the sorting table (a desk in the guest room) and Maya is playing in the background, I commence opening each crumpled receipt, paper and card. I read each one and start making piles on the guest room bed. Piles of organization for filing, tabulating and organizing.

This year I was stopped in my tracks by this:

Halloween card from Betty L. Drummond ...AKA Mrs. Evans

Halloween card from Betty L. Drummond …AKA Mrs. Evans

The last card I ever received from her.

The last card I ever received from her.

Betty Evans was the lady across the street when I was growing up. My mother worked for the parks and recreation department of our city, Betty was a stay at home mom who’s kids were a little older. Mrs. Evans was my baby sitter and second mom. She wasn’t the most refined of ladies. She was not blessed with money or an easy life. She was just a woman full of love and a woman who loved life. She loved me as if I was one of hers and I loved her as if she were my mom.

Mrs. Evans became quite ill later in her life and this card from 1998 was the last one I ever received from her. By the time she wrote this card she had sold her home across the street from my parents and moved in with her son. I had apparently tucked the card away in the back of our antique china cabinet. Last January we sold that Art Deco dining room set and I had found the card cleaning it out. In my receipt drawer it went.

Finding that card brought back a rush of childhood into the mundane yearly task of receipt sorting. It helped to bring me to a place of gratitude for the life I have been blessed with so far, the life I’m gifted with at this very moment and the bright future that lies ahead.

Betty (Evans) Drummond taught me that no matter what happens, no matter when life deals you a bad card, to always get up with a smile on your face and share love with those around you. She taught me that love always makes everything better.

May Mrs. Evans beautiful smile full of love touch your heart today.

“Be the best human being you can be.”

“Just do right.”

“Right may not be expedient, it may not be profitable, it will satisfy your soul.”

“It will give you the protection that bodyguards can’t give you. ”

“Do it because it right to do. ”

“This is your life, it’s your world. ”

“It can be better and it’s up to us. ”

These quotes are the words of Maya Angelou. At this moment video from whence they come is HERE. It is her 42 minute master class. This video disappears from the internet every time it gets posted and is hard to find in its full length. It’s a shame it isn’t public domain as the words she shares heal the human soul. Her words are a gift to human kind and should be shared freely. Watch it now before this copy goes the way of all the previous copies I have found and simply goes “poof” …because apparently the copywright holder doesn’t want it shared freely.

This video is needed now more than ever. It is worth every minute of yor time.

Enjoy!