Mattie Miracle 10th Anniversary Walk was an $119,000 success!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.


As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter



The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: www.mattiemiracle.com and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

August 26, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. Mattie was three years old and visiting my parents in Los Angeles. We took Mattie to an outdoor festival for children near my parent's house. Mattie had a great old time, as he rode a horse, got to pet farm animals, and even rode a train. It almost felt like a block party. Ironically as Peter, myself, and my parents were driving around last week, we passed the street that this festival occurred at so many years ago. Despite the amount of time that has lapsed by, Peter piped up and said.... wasn't this where the outdoor fair was that we took Mattie? Absolutely! Funny how you don't forget certain things.... or maybe we just were always very focused on whatever time we had with Mattie. 


Quote of the day: If you don’t follow your heart, you might spend the rest of your life wishing you had. ~ Brigitte Nicole





We started off the day at Paty's! My high school years were spent in Burbank, not far from this landmark restaurant. I can't tell you how many times we passed this restaurant by car as I was growing up. Ironically not much has changed, since this restaurant is still a 'go to' and classic for our area. Which is an amazing achievement really because restaurants today are hard to operate and typically don't have a lasting following. For over 60 years, Paty's Restaurant has been serving up diner favorites and home baked goods. Since the beginning in 1960, Paty's has been known for good food and a neighborhood hang out for many locals and many stars; Bob Hope, James Garner, John Wayne, Johnny Carson, Debbie Reynolds and Jonathan Winters just to name a few. While many celebs of today who live and work near by, like Miley Cyrus, Zack Efron, Hilary Duff, Vannesa Hudgens, George Lopez, Steve Carell and many more, continue to make it a trendy-yet-classic landmark eatery. Their famous "Green Room" has been made famous as many of the biggest deals in Hollywood over the years have been signed in the back dining room. In 2011, LA Magazine Awarded Paty's "The Best Retro Diner" in Los Angeles.


I spent part of the day doing all sorts of things around the house. One of which was removing an old and corroded nozzle from a hose. All I can say is WOW! The typical things didn't work.... like using a pair of pliers. But I was determined. So when I don't know how to do something, I turn to Google! Sure enough I found how-to videos on You Tube that showed me step by step how to tackle this problem. Thank goodness for WD 40, a hairdryer (a staple in my collection), and a wrench! After thirty minutes working on it, I accomplished the job. Not using my hands, since my arm strength is poor. But I literally used my feet and legs to turn the wrench. 

This evening we are going with my parent's friends to see Susan Anton perform. I have to admit, I had NO idea who she was. This could be a hit or miss. But will be curious to see how this goes! 

August 25, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. As you can see Mattie was riding the LEGOLAND Express. Mattie loved all things with wheels, and was always enamored by trains. All kinds!!! Mattie was able to ride in the front of this cute train and was thrilled to be the conductor.



Quote of the day: We become what we think about. ~ Earl Nightingale


I rarely see modern day films. I am not sure why, but it is a fact. It has to be a special and extraordinary reason to get me into a movie theatre. I don't like being confined there, in the dark, with a bunch of people I don't know. Add to that the incredibly loud sounds and it is a bad combination for me.

Last night, my parents and I saw the movie Sully at home. For those of you who have never seen the movie, here is a synopsis:

 On January 15, 2009, US Airways pilots Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and First Officer Jeff Skiles board US Airways Flight 1549 from LaGuardia Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Three minutes into the flight, at an approximate altitude of 2,800 feet, the Airbus A320 strikes a flock of birds, disabling both engines. Without engine power and judging themselves unable to reach nearby airports (Teterboro Airport being the closest), Sully ditches the aircraft on the Hudson River. The crew and passengers evacuate without casualty (all 155 people survived). The press and public hail Sullenburger a hero, but the incident leaves him haunted, and experiencing a dream in which the plane crashes into a building.

Sully learns that preliminary data suggest that the port engine was still running at idle power. Theoretically, this would have left him with enough power to return to LaGuardia or land at Teterboro. The National Transportation Safety Board claims that several confidential computerized simulations show the plane
could have landed safely at either airport without engines. Sully, however, insists that he lost both engines, which left him without sufficient time, speed, or altitude to land safely at any airport.

Sully realizes that the Board believes the accident may have been pilot error, which would end his career. He arranges to have the simulations rerun with live pilots, and the results are relayed to the public hearing. Both simulations result in successful landings, one at each airport. Sully argues that they are unrealistic because the pilots knew in advance of the situation they would face and of the suggested emergency action, and were able to practice the scenario several times. The board accepts that in real life the pilots would have taken some time to react and run emergency checks before deciding to divert the plane.
The two simulations are rerun and relayed to the hearing, this time allowing a 35-second pause before the plane is diverted. The simulated diversion to LaGuardia ends with the plane landing short of the runway, and to Teterboro with a crash into buildings before the airport. The board announces that analysis of the port engine, now recovered from the river, confirms Sully's account that it was disabled by the bird strikes. The board concludes that Sullenberger acted correctly in selecting the best of the options available to him, which in the event saved the lives of everyone aboard.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Captain Sullenberger is the first known pilot to land a commercial airplane in water successfully, causing no casualties. He was a true hero and 154 people owe their lives to him. As the captain so humbly acknowledged, everyone was a hero that day from the flight crew, the passengers, and all the rescue works. As several NY ferries came to rescue passengers and crew in the water. Amazingly can you imagine that it took only about twenty minutes to rescue all 155 from the water onto the ferries? It speaks to the incredible community of people in New York who truly made that a Miracle on the Hudson.

We took Mattie on a NY ferry a week before flight 1549 went down. Mattie was in NYC for his second visit to Memorial Sloan Kettering, to begin his experimental treatment. Despite spending hours upon hours in the hospital, we tried to do some fun and memorable things with Mattie. Since it was January and freezing, we thought that a ferry ride made the most sense given Mattie was in a wheelchair and depleted from treatment. The sad part of all of this is a week later on this water, US Airways 1549 made an emergency landing, and being disengaged from the world, I truly heard only bits and pieces of what was going on in the news. Why?

Because when Mattie was battling cancer, the world stopped for me. It was NO LONGER important to know current events, or frankly anything else that was happening outside of Mattie's hospital room. It was a very different way of living life, because it was very much present focused, practically with minute to minute crises. There was no more room in my mind or spirit to take in anything else. That said, I had the where with all to know that a flight went down in the Hudson and that people were rescued by a similar boat that we took with Mattie the week before, but that was the extent of it.

While 155 people were experiencing a trauma in the air, I was experiencing a trauma on the ground. It is truly hard to comprehend how any of us survive and thrive after all that we have seen and lived through. Yet here we are. What I appreciated about the movie was it confronted the aftermath of which Captain Sully was left to contend with, which was PTSD. As such he had trouble concentrating on anything other than the flight, was unable to sleep, eat, and talk to people. Instead he did a lot of jogging, had limited conversations with people, and wasn't sure how he was going to make it to the next day. Of course this is a different trauma from childhood cancer, but the aftermath in terms of symptoms is quite similar. I may know these symptoms on a cerebral level as a mental health professional, but having experienced them first hand, I was able to relate to the captain on a very personal level.

Sully, the crew, passengers, and rescue workers are without a doubt courageous and heroes in our eyes. Yet the ironic part is none of these people view themselves this way. To them, they were just doing what was necessary or part of their job! This is NOT too far off from parents who are caring for a child with cancer. So many people look at what we do or have done, and are in awe. Yet as a parent you do whatever it takes to try to achieve the elusive CURE. With that said however, what parents endure day after day, and year after year with childhood cancer make them special and in their child's eyes true heroes.

* Note: I am not in any way trying to equate a flight going down in the Hudson River to childhood cancer. I am simply trying to point out what the film evoked in me, as I am living through the trauma of child loss.
 

August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. Another classic Mattie moment at Legoland in San Diego. Mattie loved going on all the rides. The beauty of Legoland is they have rides for all age groups. So when Mattie was smaller, he started on these cute rides and then graduated to roller coasters. I am so happy as "the boys" had their adventure, I was on the ground capturing these moments through photos. Where would we be today without all of this documentation?


Quote of the day: I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself. ~ Albert Einstein



I received an email from a long time friend today who introduced me to the website... stillstandingmag. This is a site dedicated to child loss and infertility. It captures the words, thoughts and feelings of women. My friend sent me an article about the 7 things learned from child loss. It was well done and included NO PLATITUDES. Which drive me absolutely batty, and it also wasn't a how to list. Which is another thing I can't tolerate with grief articles. As if there is a top ten list that if you meet, you are going to survive and feel better. ALL OF WHICH isn't true. As dealing with child loss is a process, but a process that remains with you forever. 

After reading the article my friend sent me, I decided to get on my computer and search through the actual website and see some of the other articles. On one of the pages it highlighted "ways to honor your child." I copied the link below to the list of 37 ways. I literally went through the list and what I concluded is I have done 13 of the "to dos" on the list of 37. Here are my 13: 

  • plant a garden
  • create a shadow box
  • take pictures of nature
  • collect an art piece
  • create a place in your home for your child's special things 
  • name a star for your child
  • start a non-profit
  • write a blog
  • have a charm bracelet
  • plant a tree
  • speak to anyone who wants to listen about your child
  • celebrate your child's birthday
  • collect things that remind you of your child


So what do I think? Did I need to see the list of 37 ways? Does such a list serve a purpose? Well I realize that sometimes in grief we waffle, we feel directionless and therefore having a list, and hearing the thoughts of other parents in our shoes does help to give us direction. Yet at the end of the day, the list is just a list. Even if one should consider these suggestions and follow through with each, it won't erase or replace the grief. By the way I am not implying that the website is even suggesting this, as I feel this site is far more realistic and truthful than most bereavement sites I have surfed. Which is refreshing. 

But here's the thing. The list gives suggestions, and then it is up to us to see if one of these suggestions makes sense to us, as we remember and honor our child. Tonight I snapped a photo of my charm bracelet. Which ironically is one of the suggestions on the list above. Yet I did not come up with this idea, my friend Margaret gave me the bracelet and a couple of charms after Mattie died. She was the one who gave me the idea to create a memory bracelet, and it resonated with me. So over the years, I have added to the bracelet, until it is completely FULL. I wear this bracelet daily. It has become a part of me. Most people just think I am wearing a Pandora bracelet, and rarely has someone asked me about the bracelet. But the bracelet has meaning. 

What I do know is that the items on the list are important, because they keep us grounded and connected to the world around us. They help us remember our child and give us a safe way to share memories with others. But at the end of the day, I think what this should tell us is we really do not know what certain items mean to people unless we ask them! Something as simple as a bracelet, may not be so simple after all. 

Ways to honor your child:

http://stillstandingmag.com/ways-to-honor-your-child/


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. Mattie was visiting my parents in Los Angeles, and together we all journeyed to San Diego to visit Legoland. As you can see Mattie and Peter went on rides together. Thankfully Peter likes motion and rides, because if Mattie were relying on me to take him, it would never have happened. I do much better with both feet on the ground, and was very happy to capture these moments on camera!



Quote of the day: Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great makes you feel that you, too, can become great. ~ Mark Twain



How do you like this for a backdrop? This is the beauty of Simi Valley, which is where we drove today to see a very special Titanic exhibit. As my loyal readers know, I am fascinated by the Titanic and intrigued with the notion that people thought they could build an unsinkable ship. However, what I most appreciate about Titanic exhibits is learning about the lives of those aboard that ship on that ill-fated voyage. Today's exhibit was about a 45 minute drive from Los Angeles. 


My mom snapped a photo of my dad and me. 





















This is how the exhibit greeted you! Frankly I had no idea we were going to learn about the history of how the Titanic was discovered on the sea floor in the 1980s, but it helped to understand the excitement and courage it took to find this massive ship (missing since 1912).  

This placard says..... The world was stunned with Dr. Robert Ballard of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Jean-Louis Michel of the French Research Institute of Exploitation of the Sea discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1985, not knowing Ballard's search for the Titanic was a cover story for a top-secret Navy mission to investigate the wrecks of two nuclear submarines: the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion. 

Ballard met with the Navy in 1982 about funding his new deep water imaging technology, Argo. Admiral Thunman was not interested in the Titanic, but wanted to re-examine the wrecks of the subs. If there was time and money left over, Ballad could do what he liked. 

Argo's first test in 1984, was at the site where Thresher sank. The heavy nuclear reactor had sunk first. With Argos, Ballard was able to see smallest pieces of debris, strewn over a mile. In September of 1985, Ballard mapped Scorpion's final site, similar to Thresher's where the imploded sub was at the end of the debris field, though Scorpion was in two pieces. He realized that currents carried the lighter pieces farther away as they fell.  


Armed with this new found knowledge, he discovered Titanic in 9 days. Because the mission was classified, he could not explain why he had changed tactics to look for the debris field instead of the wreck itself. Admiral Thunman and then Secretary of the Navy John Lehman were notified that a false mission ended up a true success. 

This photo simulates the debris field Dr. Ballard and his team saw on route to finding the Titanic. 









“Alvin” – the titanium submersible sphere that brought Dr. Bob Ballard down to the wreckage of Titanic; the first such submersible to do so. Can you imagine riding in this for 8 hours to the bottom of the ocean floor to explore the wreckage?
A replica of the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean. Created for James Cameron's film.
This remote controlled vehicle was called "snoop dog." Used by James Cameron and his team to capture photos and documentation of what the inside decks of the Titanic looked like. 

James Cameron was quoted as saying.....The tragedy has assumed an almost mythic quality in our collective imagination, but the passage of time has robbed it of its human face - I wanted the audience to cry for Titanic. Which means to cry for the people on the ship.
The exhibit featured the amazing research James Cameron conducted to obtain as much information about the Titanic as possible, in order to direct the movie, Titanic. Movie sets, props and costumes from the blockbuster movie included Rose's suite and Jack's third class cabin. James Cameron spared no expenses at re-creating these sets and as well as also created a life sized model of the Titanic in Mexico to film the movie on location. This is Jack's (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) cabin in the movie, but it was based on an actual third class cabin on the Titanic. 


I can't imagine that James Cameron had the main stairwell and a great deal of the ship re-created. Using high end materials. The movie wasn't simulating the ship using computers, but instead it created a real life model to make this as authentic and realistic as possible. In fact hundreds of actors for this movie were taught about life in the early 1900's, so that their mannerisms, how they walked and socialized would appropriately capture this by-gone era. 


This was Rose's cabin in the movie. This first class cabin was based on the depiction of the Straus cabin aboard the Titanic. A cabin used by the Mr. and Mrs. Straus, owners of Macy's department store. It was supposed to be very lavish and the most expensive cabin on the ship. Equivalent to us paying $75,000 today. In fact, they tell us that Macy's closed its doors for a week in 1912, to mourn the loss of its owners. 


A replica of one of the 16 lifeboats aboard Titanic. This boat was recreated for the movie. Though just a model, James Cameron's work truly brought the Titanic alive for the world by creating these realistic structures. 
A deck chair from the Titanic, one of only eight known to exist. The rest of the chairs were thrown in the ocean, as people jumped from the ship and hoped to use the chairs as flotation devices. People didn't die from drowning in the North Atlantic, but from hypothermia. 














A deck chair on the Carpathia. The ship that came from over 50 miles away to rescue survivors of the Titanic. These deck chairs were nicknamed the "widow makers" for the Titanic passengers, many now widowed, who rested on them during the voyage back to NY. While some originally hoped their husbands were coming on later lifeboats, or were picked up by another ship, it quickly became clear that Carpathia held all of the survivors. This is the ONLY known deck chair from the Carpathia. 








Found in 1985 during President Reagan’s administration, the Titanic quickly became a dive site for many different companies and explorers trying to get a piece of her history.  To protect the historic site and preserve it for generations, President Reagan issued the 1986 RMS Titanic Memorial Act to designate the wreck as an international maritime memorial.

None of the artifacts displayed in this exhibition were salvaged from the wreck itself – a sacred final resting place. The exhibit had an entire room dedicated to the known survivors of the Titanic, and highlighted some of the artifacts these families loaned to the museum for display.


This was Wallace Hartley. Only in his 30's and was the bandleader and violinist aboard Titanic. Apparently to land such a job on the Titanic, one had to be very talented and well credentialed. Hartley and the other 7 musicians aboard the Titanic played music as the ship was sinking to try to bring peace and comfort to those on board. He and the other musicians went down with the ship, but they felt they had a mission greater than their own survival. 



This was Edith Rosenbaum Russell. She was 32 years old and a correspondent for Women's Wear Daily. She was returning to the US from Paris with 19 trunks, filled with clothing. She also brought with her a music box in the shape of a pig, which her mother had given her as a mascot after she survived a car wreak that killed her fiance. After she refused to make the leap into a lifeboat over a 14 story drop, a sailor grabbed the pig and threw it into the boat, mistakenly saying.... well if you don't want to be saved, I'll save your baby. Taking it as a sign from her mother, she agreed to go. Years later, she visited the set of the film, A Night to Remember, with her pig and spoke with the actress that played her. 


This was Charles Lightoller. He was the second officer who gave the order "women and children first." He was the last Titanic survivor to board the Carpathia and the highest ranking officer to survive the sinking. 
This was Edwina Troutt. She was 27 years old and visiting family in England when she was returning to Massachusetts on a second class ticket. She was saved in a Collapsible D (which sounded like a canvas life boat if you can believe it) carrying a baby with her. Due to the 'woman and children only' rule, the baby's male relative could not board a lifeboat. Edwina took the infant with her, and he was later reunited with his mother. Edwina lived to 100 years old and received birthday letters from Presidents Nixon and Reagan. 
This was John Gill. He was 24 years old and married Sarah. Two months later, he sailed on the Titanic to create a home for his bride in the USA. He died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the crew of the CS Mackay-Bennett (a ship assigned to comb through the wreckage for survivors). He was assigned body number 155 (can you imagine this?"??"!) and was buried at sea! After his possessions were sent to his widow she placed them in a drawer and DID NOT speak a word for 20 years. 

I'm sure that sounds odd or profound, but I get it!
This was Harold Cottam. He was 21 years old and was the wireless operator on the Carpathia. He was the one who roused the captain of the Carpathia and pleaded to go to the Titanic's aid. He worked for hours to transmit the names of the rescued passenger. He was hailed as a hero after the disaster and even received a visit from Marconi himself, the inventor of the Marconi wireless.  











This was the captain of the Titanic. He did go down with the ship, but his quote about his abilities and the strength of the vessels he sailed were almost testing fate....

I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort. I will say that I can not imagine any condition which could cause a ship to founder. I can not conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that. 



How the tragedy of the Titanic changed the world:


  1. Lifeboat regulations now require a seat for every person.
  2. Wireless stations are manned 24 hours a day so that messages would not go unheeded when operators slept (which is what happened with the Titanic, there was a ship only 15 miles away from the Titanic that fateful night, yet because wireless operators were sleeping, the SOS call was NEVER received). 
  3. 'Winter shipping lanes were moved farther south and the International Ice Patrol was established.
  4. Many survivors experienced trauma that haunted them their entire lives, suffering from what we now know as PTSD, and at least ten survivors committed suicide. More than 40 babies were born after the Titanic tragedy, most of whom never knew their father. 

The exhibit ended with this wall sized display of the names of all 1,503 passengers and crew who died aboard the Titanic. A tragedy never to be forgotten, so much so that over a century later people like myself are moved, intrigued, and want to know more about the ship and its people. 




August 22, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 -- Mattie died 414 weeks ago today. 

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. Mattie was three years old and we took him to Legoland in San Diego. I think Legoland was one of Mattie's favorite theme parks. Mattie LOVED to build and create with Legos, from a very early age. So a whole park geared toward the Lego affectionato was right up his alley. In fact, Mattie got a Legoland "driver's license" there. A clever item, as Legoland will sell you one right near their Lego ride-on cars. As Mattie got a little older, his next favorite thing at the park was roller coasters. Which was another thing we differed on, as I wouldn't dream of going on a roller coaster, nor have I ever been tempted to go on one either!


Quote of the day: Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. ~ Joshua J. Marine



While we were away, Sunny sent to Dogtopia for boarding. This was Sunny's fourth time staying at this facility and I have to imagine each time he goes, he is getting accustomed to the process. But more importantly understands that at some point we are coming back. 

There are many things I like about Dogtopia. First of which is it is a very clean facility. This is very important given the number of animals visiting the rooms daily. In addition, the facility makes sure that dogs visiting or boarding are up to date on all their vaccines and care. To me this is equally important to assure Sunny's health. But I love how the staff text messages me updates daily about Sunny and when I am in doubt, I can just look at their webcam remotely to see how Sunny is doing for myself. 

I can always tell how comfortable Sunny is by his lying down position. When anxious, Sunny doesn't rest or lie down. But you can see him in this photo relaxing on a cot!

Of course Sunny never passes up the opportunity to interact with a human. When the human leader in the room stopped doing chores and sat down, he hopped off the cot and made a B-line over for attention. That's my Sunny! 
This morning Peter went to pick Sunny up from Dogtopia. Look at this happy puppy in the car! You can just tell he was excited to be back in the car!  










Compare the photo above to this photo I took of Sunny on September 2, 2016. This was the day we picked Sunny up from foster care. Look at how sad, anxious, and thin he looked! It is hard to believe that in almost two weeks time, we will have owned Sunny a full year. 
Sunny is home and has taken a seat in the kitchen! I have no doubt he was looking for me and curious to know when the special treats and snacks will be showing up! So happy Sunny got a good report card from Dogtopia and is back home. Yes I know I haven't mentioned Indie!!! 

Indie is truly a very easy going gal! The vet's office loves her, gives her freedom from her cage while boarding, and frankly is a different temperament from Sunny! She is flexible, adaptable, and not an anxious type. So I really do not worry about her as much. Though I was happy to hear the good feedback Peter received about her from the vet at pick up today. 


August 21, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. We took Mattie to Los Angeles to visit my parents and together we all traveled to San Diego to see the sights. In all reality, it did not matter where we took Mattie, because each day was an adventure. It was just how he viewed and interacted with the world that made him so curious, engaging, challenging, and as a result never boring to be around. 


Quote of the day: Every noble work is at first impossible. ~ Thomas Carlyle



Last night, Peter and I took my parents out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary which was on August 14th. When all four of us get together, it is a good reason to celebrate. The beauty of Bistro Gardens, is it is a lovely, soothing, and elegant garden atmosphere to have dinner. 













Peter few back to Washington, DC today. On the way to the airport, he text messaged me that I could see the solar eclipse happening today! I figured we would see NOTHING in Los Angeles. Though we did not get complete darkness from the totality, it was clear something was happening. With Peter's text, I went outside my parent's house and looked up into the sky. YES I know, not what I was supposed to do. But I really looked at the sun through my phone and only stayed out a short period of time. Actually at first I thought the sky was just hazy or smoggy. But upon closer examination, it did seem odd. Because it looked more like dusk out than morning. Given how far up in the sky the sun was, the dim lighting didn't make sense. Well that until you factor in the eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is larger than the Sun's, blocking all direct sunlight, turning day into darkness.


Again, from the front yard I could see that part of the sky was indeed darker (right upper hand corner). The previous time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was June 8, 1918; not since the February 1979 eclipse has a total eclipse been visible from anywhere in the mainland United States. The path of totality touched 14 states today, although a partial eclipse was visible in all 50 states. 

Below are the photos NASA captured today.......The Sun disappeared, seemingly swallowed by our Moon–at least for a while. This series of images shows the progression of a partial solar eclipse near Banner, Wyoming.
I can't imagine seeing this sight, nor can I comprehend how frightening this must have been for people to see in the past. Prior to understanding the phenomenon of an eclipse, I would imagine people thought the world was ending. 
Though this looks like a crescent moon, this orange orb is actually the sun being obscured by the moon. This takes Mattie Moon to a whole other level!
I know several people who chased the eclipse today and wanted their children to experience this incredible act of nature. All I know is if Mattie were alive, Peter and and Mattie would have joined in this phenomenon. It is funny how even an incredible act of nature can bring about sadness to us. Sadness which Peter verbalized. I absorbed what he was saying, but while going through something, I typically have NO reaction and NO response. Not sure if it is safer this way, or simply the best way I know to protect myself. Nonetheless I did hear Peter and I know he wished things were different for us. Without Mattie in our lives, it does alter the activities we do or don't do, and our willingness to engage in the world. All I know is whether ever Mattie is, I have no DOUBT he watched his Mattie Moon transform our daytime sky! 

August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Tonight's picture was taken in August of 2005. Mattie was inside one of his favorite museums, the George C. Page Museum. This museum is in Los Angeles and it features amazing specimens of dinosaurs excavated from the tar pits right outside the museum. Mattie really grew up with this museum, and never got tired of visiting it and learning about how these prehistoric animals got trapped in the tar pits or observing researchers digging through one of the tar pits under exploration. 


Quote of the day: Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison



We left this beautiful site today! The last time I visited Palm Springs, I was a teenager. It is amazing how different times in your life enable you to see places in different ways. I loved the beauty of Palm Springs and though Los Angeles has mountains too, the terrain in Palm Springs is quite different and you can get so close to the mountains. You almost feel like a part of them. 

 This is a typical street you drive down in Palm Springs. The stark contrast of the palm trees against the mountains is incredible. 
This was the hotel the conference was held at! Notice how the hotel is surrounded by mountains. 
The lobby in the hotel had this lighted floor display. Literally it would change colors throughout the day. Mattie would have gotten a total kick out of this!
If you haven't figured this out, I was enamored by the mountains. 








Thankfully we got back to Los Angeles today safely. However, when we returned home we went out for a bit and I noticed the car next to us trying to get my attention. Since the light was green there wasn't anything I could do about this, other than when we parked I got out to examine the car. What he was trying to tell us was that the car had a flat tire! What a good samaritan. So happy it did not happen on the highway in 110 heat! 

This evening, Peter and I are taking my parents to Bistro Gardens to celebrate their anniversary. It is a special restaurant that we try to visit on special occasions!