Who ate my dollar bill?

This is Gunther, our flowering cactus. According to Linda Rose, this species only flowers once every seven years or so. He has flowered every year for about 3 years now. The flowers are breath-taking — they’re the size of my head — and the fragrant is powerful, sweet and heady. However, this maybe the last time we see Gunther’s magnificent flowers.

A few days before our golf tournament, Gunther jumped out, grabbed Michelle’s left hand, and embedded all his of small barbed spikes into her knuckles. (As told to me by Michelle.) This was extremely tragic and traumatic, as this was going to be a huge event, and had taken months to organize. Charles Schwab had sponsored the golf tournament on behalf of the Women’s Cancer Resource Center and Michelle had been instrumental in getting this sponsorship. Naturally this would have hindered her ability to play. “Fortunately”, I pointed out, “it’s your left hand — you only need it for distance, not accuracy.” She seemed somewhat relieved as she tweezed another spike out of her mutilated and bloody hand. Despite our very low handicap of 10, we still managed to come in at a respectable 72.2.

Little did I know she had vowed vengeance on Gunther. Our yard man is coming this Friday to clear out the entire back yard. Gunther may or may not survive. Michelle did mention donating it to our neighbor across the street (who has a wide collection of cacti), so who knows. Maybe Gunther will be happy over there.

Today has been an emotional day. Deb’s passing has been a shock and I fluctuated between disbelief and grief. I didn’t want to think about it too much, so I kept on working, only to have my stoic moments interspersed with poignant memories of good times past. I was constantly on the verge of tears. Then I was on the phone with Lola (who had not heard until I emailed her today), and I had to leave the building.

If it wasn’t for Deb and Erin chatting it up outside the Cherry Bar eight years ago, I would have never met my girl. Deb was a magnanimous person with a generous spirit. Her birthday is coming up — July 19th. She would have been 47 this year. I still have all the music CDs she mixed. We used to joke about how she should have been the master DJ at the End Up.

Madeleine sensed my discomfort and has been exceptionally sweet the last few days. She has always been a sweet girl, when she wants to be. Look at this picture. That was what sold Michelle. I sent that picture to her everyday for a week, until she caved. Madeleine now wants to lick my face and clean my sadness away, except she has horrible breath! I gave her some activated charcoal tonight — just in case it was something bacterial. She had thrown up a few nights ago — her entire dinner and breakfast, along with bits of red tissue paper and green grass. I once read somewhere that vets are constantly surprised by what they find in dogs’ stomachs. This was what I came home to tonight. We finally caved in and bought a crate; it should arrive tomorrow.


This one’s for Deb…

Yesterday, my friend Deb passed away from a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She was still so young, so full of life. I’m still reeling from the news — one is never prepared to hear something like this.

I will miss her. But I will think of her every time I hear this song.