TIME TO BOAR THE WORLD

When FlyoverJoel first suggested we do something to help others during the season of over-indulgence, I suspected it was to distract us from the nacho cheese stains on his shirt.

Instead the melding of great deeds and warped minds produced #Tweet4Meat — an annual event so worthy that even the smartest, funniest people on Twitter will use a hashtag without shame or remorse for the benefit of people who can’t star, retweet or trophy.

In the first two years, #Tweet4Meat raised $7,784 to buy chickens, bees, hoes and seeds and other elements of sustainable farming and community development for people who have little food, less liquor and no Wi-Fi.

These are the people who benefit from your donations to Heifer International.

So beginning Dec. 4, we’ll write and post dumb jokes relentlessly across all time zones — on every continent — until we meet our goal of $7,000, an apocalyptic prophesy is fulfilled or Dec. 11, whichever comes first.

How can you help?

First: Donate between Dec. 4-11. Put down that catalog from Patagonia or Brookstone and browse through Heifer’s fine-feathered offerings.  I mean, where else can you buy a llama and provide food and reliable income for the nations? Then make a donation at firstgiving.com.

Second: Put your mouth where your money is.  From Dec. 4-11, tell some #Tweet4Meat jokes and share the donation link with the same fervor as a #FF for your favorite tweeter.

If you have an idea you’d like to share, email Tweet4Meat2013@gmail.com or let me or @Flyover know — or someone on this list of folks who keep supporting Tweet4Meat. They’re some of the finest people you’d never make eye contact with:

gneicco • alisonforns • AmberTozer •AngelaHelga • anythingatonce • blobert • CabbageNews • Cheeseboy22 • CoatCzech • Cosell • cpinck • drivewaydranker • FilthyRichmond • Greeblemonkey • HeyitsLori • Home_Halfway • Hormonella • IGotsSmarts • JennyPentland • jerryrenek • JoeSchmitt • John_M15 • JPHaddadio • juskewitch • karentozzi • LaetPO • Lafix • LifeCoachers • Meetingboy • MrBigFists • Nickadoo • OhNoSheTwitnt • Paxochka • ProfessorSnack • PuddingBoobs • ReelQuinn • RexHuppke • RockabillyJay • ScottLinnen • shanethevein • shariv67 • Smethanie • SortaBad • Squirreljustice • StellaRtwot • SteveHuff • susie_meister • TeaPartyCat • TheBosha • theguydf • theleanover • TheNardvark • TinyNietzsche • tnylgn • ToneLoaf • UncleDynamite • VerifiedDrunk • VocabuLarry • WarrenHolstein • yoyoha • JosephScrimshaw • Pauly_Miller • EricMarten • Untresor • Peter-john Byrnes • JaySuch • TheBlessMess • Kyle_Lippert • robfee

21

Twelve years ago I was consoling my little girl. After two weeks in the hospital, she’d been released just in time to celebrate her birthday. But the world wasn’t in the mood for a party.

Every year since, we made an extra special effort to see that Sept. 11 celebrated life, no matter where we were. No tears allowed.

This year she’s not here to celebrate her 21st birthday, but I hear her say, “NO EXCEPTIONS!”

So I’m going to have her favorite white cupcakes with chocolate icing and share a few things Vallie taught us about living:

1. Never give up. Especially when it’s expected.

2. The best things come in small packages.

3. Be a problem-solver.

 

4. Try anything once.

5. Play hard.

6. Follow your own fashion sense.

7. Never underestimate the value of fancy footwork.

8. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

9. Celebrate every victory.

10. Keep things in perspective.

11. Acknowledge your inner conflicts.

12. Find your own beat.

13. Embrace all the choices.

14. Laugh often, especially at yourself.

15. Love somebody.

16. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

17. Self-pity is wasted.

18. Friends will lift you up.

19. Adversity is no excuse for failure.

20. Never take your eyes off the possibilities.

21. Inside every duckling is a swan.

Happy birthday, baby girl.

Doubly blessed 

It’s been a month since my daughter passed away. And it seemed that everything conspired to make me miss her more than possible. Mother’s Day was the next week. Her sister’s graduation after that. Then the first trip to the beach without her. And every day in between.

Saturday morning I drove to Tennessee to see Vallie’s tombstone; it had been delivered the day before. The sunny day turned suddenly dark, and I was forced to leave and make my way back in a thunderstorm — no small feat on a winding, two-lane country road. I took the opportunity to have a pity party: I’d been robbed. Again.

I didn’t notice when the rain stopped.

 Back at the hotel, I got out of the car and turned to see what been beside me along the way. 

A double rainbow. The only one I’ve ever seen end to end. A perfect arc.

I will never forget that vision of beauty. 

Or that it was only possible because of the storm.

Doubly blessed

It’s been a month since my daughter passed away. And it seemed that everything conspired to make me miss her more than possible. Mother’s Day was the next week. Her sister’s graduation after that. Then the first trip to the beach without her. And every day in between.

Saturday morning I drove to Tennessee to see Vallie’s tombstone; it had been delivered the day before. The sunny day turned suddenly dark, and I was forced to leave and make my way back in a thunderstorm — no small feat on a winding, two-lane country road. I took the opportunity to have a pity party: I’d been robbed. Again.

I didn’t notice when the rain stopped.

Back at the hotel, I got out of the car and turned to see what been beside me along the way. A double rainbow. The only one I’ve ever seen end to end. A perfect arc.

I will never forget that vision of beauty.

Or that it was only possible because of the storm.

Dear friends,

Your love and condolences are written on my heart.

I’m especially touched by those of you who led and supported a fundraising drive for Vallie’s favorite refuge.  

This world is filled with charitable organizations, and I can only hope they fundamentally change the lives of all the children they reach as Camp Bridges does.

Your donation will help make a chronically ill child who is timid find strength, one who is sheltered experience adventure and those who have always felt different find acceptance.

She would be so proud this is part of her legacy.

Thank you for making it possible,

Love, Juice

Dear friends,

Your love and condolences are written on my heart.

I’m especially touched by those of you who led and supported a fundraising drive for Vallie’s favorite refuge. 

This world is filled with charitable organizations, and I can only hope they fundamentally change the lives of all the children they reach as Camp Bridges does.

Your donation will help make a chronically ill child who is timid find strength, one who is sheltered experience adventure and those who have always felt different find acceptance.

She would be so proud this is part of her legacy.

Thank you for making it possible,

Love, Juice

Dear friends,
My precious Vallie passed away yesterday.  She was the light of my life and the song in my heart.

My faith tells me the moment she left me she was healed forever, and that is my comfort.
She was my firstborn, and now it’s hard to remember a day before she existed and harder to imagine the next ones without her. She was tiny in size and physically weak the past two years, but she was always a giant in spirit who could fill a room with her joy and fearlessness.
And I would not trade one day with her, heartbreak or not, for anything this world has to offer.
Thank you all for your kindnesses.
Love, Juice

Dear friends,

My precious Vallie passed away yesterday.  She was the light of my life and the song in my heart.

My faith tells me the moment she left me she was healed forever, and that is my comfort.

She was my firstborn, and now it’s hard to remember a day before she existed and harder to imagine the next ones without her. She was tiny in size and physically weak the past two years, but she was always a giant in spirit who could fill a room with her joy and fearlessness.

And I would not trade one day with her, heartbreak or not, for anything this world has to offer.

Thank you all for your kindnesses.

Love, Juice

Where’s Juice?

Dear friends,

Thank you for your concern and well wishes. I never meant to worry you or even take this long to explain where I’ve been, but my life has not been my own for the past six weeks.

My daughter’s heart stopped a few minutes into Easter morning. It took 15 minutes of CPR to get it working again, and I believe if she had not already been in ICU, she would not be with me today.

She’d been transferred a few hours earlier because her blood pressure and blood sugar kept dropping, even though she was being flooded with fluids and glucose.

This was six days after she’d been admitted to replace the port she uses to dialyze because of an infection. She had done this several times before without incident as an outpatient.

But this time, between Monday and Saturday, she had acquired a bacterial and a fungal infection in the hospital — particularly nasty, insidious types that are extremely difficult to identify and harder to treat.

She beat those two and another but, she hasn’t been able to breathe deeply enough to come off the vent for any one or combination of reasons. Her aortic valve is narrowed, limiting her ability to pump blood, which is likely a side-effect of renal failure. Her compromised liver is affecting blood’s ability to clot and low levels of albumin make healing slow and difficult.

This past weekend she developed pneumonia.

Her doctors have been a little more than stunned by her resiliency. One pointed out that she’d beaten two blood infections that can kill healthy people who have all their working organs.

That’s my girl.

But today, she’s scheduled for a tracheotomy, to avoid irreversible damage to her trachea from the breathing tube, and G-tube for liquid feeds for the forseeable future.

So why am I telling you this?

To illustrate how delicately balanced is the function of the human body. That the failure of any single organ sends ripples throughout the whole system. Her kidney failure also has caused excruciating nerve pain, seizures and, ironically, extreme high blood pressure.

And there are many more like her. More than 115,000 in America. Waiting on a transplant. Waiting on life.

Now it’s my greatest hope that you and everyone you know and love live long enough that your organs do a full life’s work.  Nonetheless, I encourage you to consider being an organ donor. You can learn about the requirements in your state and register your intent at donatelife.net.

My girl has been waiting on a miracle for more than two years. Now it seems we need that and a little more.

Keep her and others like her in your thoughts. 

I’ll be back when I can.

Love, Juice

We all want the same things in life, right? Donate now.

We all want the same things in life, right? Donate now.

Lowering the genius bar

I ordered an iPad for my 75-year-old mom, and it arrived today. I opened it to run updates, load some apps, set up the wi-fi and have it ready for use Christmas Day.

But there was a problem. So I contacted Apple Support by chat because I didn’t have a number for the Twilight Zone.

[Start chat]

Me: My iPad arrived. IT’S ALL IN CHINESE. WTH?

[Two minutes pass.]

Rep: Hello, this is Cam. Can you state the nature of your problem?

Me: My new iPad arrived today. It’s all in Chinese.

Cam: What’s the problem?

Me: IT’S ALL IN CHINESE!

Cam: Oh. So you don’t speak Chinese?

Me: I’m in Alabama. I don’t have much need for it. And I can’t change it. Why is it in Chinese?

Cam: Well, that’s not right. Where did you order it from?

Me: Apple.com

Cam: Well that’s not good. We can fix this.

Me: That’s why I contacted you.

Cam: Just tap the thing that looks like a gear.

Me: Nothing looks like a gear. It’s a log in screen. IN CHINESE.

Cam: Double tap the screen. What do you see?

Me: CHINESE — IN LARGER CHARACTERS.

Cam: Well that’s not right.

Me: So you’ve said. I clicked what should be the upper right arrow and now I see icons, but no gear.

Cam: The gear is like a circle with notches cut out—

Me: Stop there. I have four iPhones, a handful of iPods, an iMac, two Minis and a MacBook. I don’t need a Mac lesson. I need to know how to reset this instrument. Or an interpreter.

Cam: Do you have a laptop?

Me: … Uh, YES.

Cam: Connect it to the laptop.

Me: And?

Cam: Hold the front and top buttons down until it tells you it can’t sync the iPad.

Me: Will it tell me that IN CHINESE? Because I don’t speak it.

Cam: So you’ve said. No, it should be in English.

Me: Then hit Restore?

Cam: Yes, that’s all. Anything else?

Me: Not unless this doesn’t work.

Cam: That should do it. It will restart in English and then you can set the language you want.

Me: I want ENGLISH. It will take five minutes to restore.

Cam: I can wait with you if you want.

Me: Four minutes.

Cam: I’ll be here. [sigh inferred.]

[Four minutes later]

Me: 完成                    [Done.]

Cam: Pardon me?

Me: 它的工作            [It worked] 

Me: 謝謝                       [Thank you.}

Cam: Very funny.

Me: Merry Christmas!

[End chat.]

A tiny legacy

One final breath.

And she was gone.

My niece, Kaylee, was three months old.

There will be no milestones in her baby book after today.

She will not roll over.  Sit up.  Crawl.

She will never have a first word, first step, first day of school, first kiss.

She will never walk across a stage, down the aisle or to her own beat.

Some may say she never made a mark in this world. But they would be wrong. Because of her, as many as seven babies will have a chance at life again.

Seven mothers may have hope their children will reach for the dreams they held for them.

And Kaylee will be with them.

Each step of the way.

shariv67:

As promised, here is a free sample track from my upcoming comedy album, BAMF…. I’ll let you know when the entire thing is available on iTunes. Thanks for listening!

Anxiously awaiting!

(via humorouscorpus-deactivated20140)