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!

 

 

Mom

Mom turns 85 this week. Mom is recovering well from the mild stroke she had back in early December. I’m flying out Tuesday to visit mom to celebrate her birthday this week. I got her a gift from my local Apple Store.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Apple Watch Sport and a Milanese loop magnetic band.

Mom lives alone. Mom occasionally falls. Mom wants to remain in the house she and dad purchased in 1957. Mom cherishes her independence. Mom needs some type of device to call for help just in case.

I’ve researched the Life Alert buttons, the call center monitors and the like. All of them scream you are old and you have to now wear this horrible looking button around your neck. Plus you must now have an ugly two way monitoring station connected to some call center in your home with a monthly fee. And, oh by the way, don’t venture out of range of this station unless someone is with you. Stay Put! Wear This House Arrest Button …FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY DAMMIT!

Enter Apple products. Mom already has an iPhone, an iPad and has WiFi in her house. If her phone is with her she is covered …such as when she leaves the house. However she doesn’t carry the iPhone with her in the house. Last summer Apple added an SOS feature to the Apple Watch OS. By giving her this new watch I will put a life alert system right on her wrist. One that she can even wear in the shower.

The Apple Watch features a new SOS alert that you can activate from the screen that will call 911 first and then start calling the contacts you have in your iPhone’s emergency contact list automatically. What if she falls and can’t activate the screen you ask? Apple’s SIRI has that covered as well. The Apple Watch responds to the “Hey Siri” command and will call 911, my brother, myself or whoever she chooses simply with her verbal command right from her wrist. Her phone doesn’t have to be with her as it will use the WiFi in her house. If she is out her phone is in her purse and she can still use the  Apple Watch as it will then call through the phone.

Was it inexpensive? No.

Was it reasonable for what it will do? Hell yes.

Was it a bargain in order to have mom wearing a stylish hip happening piece of technology on her wrist that doesn’t scream “I am old and my son makes me wear this help I’ve fallen and can’t get up button”? Big hell fucking yes!

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Knowing this information, what do I want for Christmas next year? An Apple Watch. You don’t have to be 85 to fall and not be able to get up.

Mom, Winter Solstice and More Tradition

A friend and reader text me earlier to check on mom. He nudged me since I hadn’t written. Mom is doing ok. I say ok because while her drive, outlook and spirit are very much all going for her, her body is becoming frail. As long as her blood pressure can be controlled she shouldn’t have any more small strokes. She will recover in a couple months from the small ones she had. Her health checks out good otherwise but she is dizzy, unsteady and tires easily right now.

Her 85th birthday is in late January and I have already booked the trip out to be there. We are installing a chair lift for her staircase, getting her an “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” button and changing a few things to make life alone in the house she purchased in 1957 a bit safer. She wants to work, she wants to live alone in her house, she wants to drive and she is determined.

I realize her days are limited, as does she. However she has enough means to bring in some help if she needs it. As her son it’s my job to keep an eye out, advise her strongly if necessary and help her achieve her goals for enjoying what time she does have. I’ve asked her if she would move here as I have a first floor bedroom suite she can move into, she says maybe one day.

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Happy Solstice to All Y’all! …(pleural for y’all)

On this the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, I am reminded that tomorrow really will be a new day. Tomorrow starts the new cycle. The sun will begin its return. The world will turn yet again. I am given hope. I realize that all of life is a cycle. It is simply the pattern to which we are born. The earth revolves, seasons revolve, our solar system revolves, all life including all plants and animals cycle and all have a time and a place. The universe is one big revolving circle and I am blessed to be a part of it.

The fulfillment of my life has to simply be to do my best to leave here having left something good behind. Nothing is too big or too small, it just has to be good. Just do good, give good, share good and leave good.

My grove of traditional trees from my childhood.

My grove of traditional trees from my childhood.

This years Xmas dinner of chosen family at our home is themed “Coming Home”. Last year we weren’t here for our chosen family’s traditional Christmas dinner gathering as we went to be with my mom due to my father’s passing. This year we are back to our home in San Diego. Therefore given the theme all gifts for the white elephant gift exchange are to be from small neighborhood businesses. I chose two natural open growth Nobel Fir trees from our neighborhood nursery to decorate in a style that we fifty somethings remember from the 1960s. They are complete with tinsel icicles and not a single LED light. Yup the 1960s weren’t exactly environmentally friendly. No worries though as I will recycle the trees after properly disposing of the tinsel and the incandescent lights are powered by my solar power system.

One other seasonal tradition of ours I will leave you with on this winter solstice day is Author Feidler and The Boston Pops rendition of Sleigh Ride.

It’s officially winter …Enjoy!

Chosen family

In the spring of 1994, I was but a young buck. Fearsome was in hiding as I was going through the early 90’s clean shaven pretty boy stage that was popular at the time. Yuck. Oh, and he wasn’t happy with my choice.

The Better Half and I were headed into year four of or life together and year 3 of our life in San Diego. Being transplants we were still exploring and establishing relationships in our new home town. Having bought a home and gotten settled into our careers it was time for our first “Big” vacation. Living in paradise we wanted something on the next level, a Southern Caribbean cruise.

At the time there was a young start up company that had gotten a good reputation in a sub-specialty that had never been marketed to for pleasure cruises, gay cruises. RSVP was the first and without realizing what he was doing, Kevin Mosier had changed niche travel and the criuse industry forever. But that’s a whole other story.

We booked a seven day cruise out of Aruba with ports in Curaçao, San Blas Islands, Cartagena Columbia and The Panama Canal. That particular RSVP cruise was aboard the SS OceanBreeze, a ship in The Dolphin Line.

SS Ocean Breeze of The Dolphin Line circa 1994. She was originally built in 1955 as a trans world immigrant ship and lots more about here can be found HERE.

SS OceanBreeze of The Dolphin Line circa 1994. She was originally built in 1955 as a history making trans-world immigrant liner and lots more about her can be found HERE.

We were able to get a couple friends from here in SoCal to join us and met a couple other friends at a pre-sail mixer to join us so we had a posse of six. Now we could complete a group costume for the costume party aboard ship for which RSVP had become famous.

On board we quickly made new friends in another group of seven from San Diego. They too were pulling together a group costume. They were the cast of Giligan’s Island, we were The Village People. They won first place, we came in second. The completion was fierce but each group had somehow cast just the right people in the right characters to pull it off. Afterward we all hung together and it looked as if there was a lost episode where The Village People had landed on the island. I’m sure there are pictures, but that was the days of Kodak film and they are somewhere in a drawer unfortunately needing to be scanned.

Little did that posse of 13 know, but we had accidentally just met the core of our own chosen family.

Chosen families are throughout all populations. However chosen families were a necessary group in gay culture. Many a gay man or lesbian had been rejected by biological families. Many of those not rejected had moved away from biological families in order to live and work in larger cities where they were more accepted and in many cases it was just safer. Another factor in chosen family is we were at the absolute height of the AIDS crisis and we had to be our own family to care for our dying brothers. Chosen Families are friends who become family support networks by choice and many times necessity.

I cannot begin to thank the lesbians enough who opened their hearts, minds, homes and wallets to care for their brothers during that dark part of our history just some 22 years ago. I think I can go out on a limb here and Thank these brave women for all of us brothers who survived as well as for those who didn’t.

The headline entertainers on that particular RSVP cruise were scheduled to perform the last night of our journey before returning to Aruba to disembark. Who you ask? None other than the fabulous Sister Sledge. We were all simply twitterpated with excitement  and ran up after a fabulous farewell dinner to grab front row seats. They gave a spectacular performance closing with, of corse, ‘We Are Family’. Before we knew it they had pulled all 13 of us sitting right in front of them onto the stage to dance with them as they closed the show. And dance? We did!

Our family was born, it has grown to more than 30 of the best friends one could ever wish for. This chosen family is the most treasured part of my life. And dance? We still do!