Saturday, December 19, 2009

Checking In... ~ Deanna

Woody and I, along with our unbelievable circle of support, are truly overwhelmed with gratitude. We've also been busy with fundraising and holiday events, routine care and maintenance, coupled with the inevitable surprises inherent in our work.

Answers to the biggest questions are coming very soon ~

* I will wait to update our thermometer until Sunday's Fun Run and Dog Walk is closed.

* Woody has been working on the mortgage situation from a couple of angles and will provide an update no later than Tuesday.

On a personal note, I view it as a statement about our society that there have been a few ~ a SLIGHT few ~ that question the integrity and intention behind our curent situation. Outsiders not taking the time to get acquainted with our history posting comments sans their names. Upon exploration, these few leave many comments on a myriad subjects and their viewpoint is dark in nature. I truly have empathy for them. In the absence of darkness, however, we would be unable to appreciate the light. And so is life.

On that note, I am going to share a Christmas letter written by Woody's Mother, Suzanne Brintzenhofe. Mom has made it a tradition to share a snapshot moment each year that illustrates the holiday spirit, as opposed to a rundown of the annual events. It is my pleasure to share this wish for each of you.

Finding Love in the Strangest Places

On my way to the blood drawing lab in Germantown, I wondered if there would be a long line of people in the hall leading to the waiting room. I hoped not!

When I arrived, there were a few patients waiting in the hallway and I took my place in line. I didn't stand there very long before someone vacated a seat in the waiting room and the person at the front of the line offered the seat to me. I guess it pays to be a senior with white hair after all!

I was seated next to a beautiful woman with a small child in her lap, about one year old. The toddler climbed down from he mother's lap and started to go around the room to meet and greet the seated adults. She even wanted to sit on some of the adults' laps. She obviously hadn't been walking for very long by the looks of her unsteady gait.

During her "meet and greet" expedition around the room, another mother and child came into the waiting room and walked to the front desk to register for their lab work. This child appeared to be about three or four years old. The child was facing into the waiting room and standing quietly by his mother's side.

"Miss Congeniality" made her unsteady way to the front desk, looked directly at the boy standiung next to his mother, held her arms straight out, walked up to the boy and wrapped her small arms half way around his body.

There was a simultaneous chorus of "Awwwwww!" by every adult in the room.

May each of you experience the wonder, joy, and pure love of a child {or pup!} during this holiday and in the new year to come.

They say the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree... Our parents mean much to us.

Bug is recovering nicely from her surgery and Sunny spoons with one of us each night. For the most part, everyone else is well.

More soon... with heartfelt appreciation and gratitude.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

They Arrived

On December 15, 2009 we (Easter Seals Superior California-Help to Recovery program) were visited by Deanna & Lydia from A Chance For Bliss. With them, they brought Doc the horse, William the goat (better known as Billygoat) and Jilly the dog. Hector affectionately calls her Chili-dog. The clients paid $1for a picture with the animals. Prem did a lovely job of printing all the pictures that she took.
Deanna & Lydia also visited the Holiday Shoppe. They were surprised with all the inventory. They made plenty of different purchases. Deanna even thought the youth in Asia joke from Hector was funny.
It felt great to have Deanna & Lydia here to visit us and see all the hard work & effort we are putting into the Holiday Shoppe. We at Easter Seals are doing all we can to keep A Chance For Bliss open. We would be lost without having the animals to visit. It is the one tangible thing we can do to show we are good for something.
Remember to take a tip from the dogs. Don’t judge us by our intellectual challenges or our developmental disabilities. Sniff our feet and you’ll know if we have a good heart. You see, dogs don’t care about intellect; only good hearts.

-Lisa & Hector
Easter Seals Superior California
Help to Recovery Program

A Quick Note ~ Deanna

I've been way underground on the public front. Things are going VERY well, but routine work coupled with various events leaves little time to talk about it. Suffice to say, Gods and Godesses are coming out of the woodwork and Woody and I are aware that this is no longer "OURS" ~ we're just in for the ride. Sacramento and Company called... But today is all about my brother and his kids.

Took Doc to Easter Seals for photos at the Holiday Shoppe (which is going GREAT this year!) Rachel Chao, on our BOD, worked there as a speech path, but has found a larger calling. Hector, you might recognize from our blog, told me that on a recent visit, Rachel spoke with him about her work ...with euthanasia ~ you know, the kids in China? His delivery is priceless... Brain injured, sure! In fact, I just now saw his blog post. I wish I could share everything with all of you.

We appreciate your patience as we juggle an enormous load.

Bug is having her remaining eye removed tomorrow. Sunshine and Odie are obviously slowing. I expected this from Odie, not Sunny. She is our best all around girl and I want to spend every possible moment with her. Emotional highs and lows out here.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stores Open

On December the 8th, 2009 the Easter Seals Superior California Help to Recovery Program had the grand opening of their annual holiday shoppe. It was a very festive occasion. There were so many customers and entertainment by the carolers from the California Retired Teachers Association. They had everyone engaged in singing along with them. Everyone was in the holiday spirit afterwards.
Our cashier was Al. Steven worked the café. Lisa, Linda, & John did gift wrapping. Tony was our greeter. He did even better than the Wal-mart greeters. Les & Hector were selling raffle tickets.
You see, there are many raffle prizes to choose from. They include: a gift certificate to Cheesecake Factory, another gift certificate to Safeway, & many other prizes. The drawing will be on the seventeenth of December 2009. Tickets are only $1. That is some kind of deal!!
On the first day of business; according to Al, over $400 was sold. There are still many nice gifts available. So, please come visit if you can. All proceeds will benefit A Chance For Bliss.
Remember to take a tip from the dogs. Don’t judge us by our canes or walkers;
Sniff our hands first. We’ll know if you like us. You don’t have to wag your tail.

Lisa & Hector
Help to Recovery Program
Easter Seals Superior California

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

One Nation for Tuna ~ Deanna

Admittedly, when we've run out of canned cat food, I've tried to entice Seinfeld and Beau with a can of tuna. Heck, I adore the stuff and couldn't get enough growing up. For whatever reason, our boys don't like the stuff, which baffles me.

Our new friend, Sockington, shares my passion for Tuna. This is one cool cat. In fact, he not only has his own website, he has a Twitter account with an astonishing 1,433,268 followers. He also has his own Army who also Tweet.

This fabulous new feline friend from the East Coast gave our little ranch a shout out today. Woody was surprised this morning when he logged into e-mail and found 30 donation notices from PayPal at that point. By the end of the day, we received $1,295 as 48 individual donations from 21 states in the US, as well as Israel, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. And just look at what it did to our web stats!


I am pleased to see that our new buddy also uses Flickr to share galleries of his famous mug!

It was a busy (and freakin' COLD) weekend here in Northern California and I owe everyone a donation update. Tomorrow we visit the Easter Seals Holiday Shoppe with a pony AND we need hay and grain on top of regular duties. I'll get a true tally up by Wednesday morning. For now, I am increasing the thermometer by $3,571: $450 from Aunt Cynthia's event, $450 from the Cronan Ranch Benefit Ride, $166 from Margaret and the Travelers Christmas Craft Faire, $560 from the mail, $650 in assorted PayPal donations and $1,295 from the Socks Army. That is an enormous sum of money from a short few days.

To say that we feel loved is completedly understated. Trust me, we pass that warm fuzzy feeling onto our kids. I went out tonight near midnight to drop another round of hay to the horses. It's COLD out there! I am honored to do so. Thank you for all you're doing so that we might continue to treat these old kids with the care they so deserve.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Reflections on a fabulous evening ~ Woody


That best sums up the evening that Dee, Moose, Max, and I had last night. The sanctuary was the guest of honor at the annual Friends Caring and Sharing Ornament Party. This is an amazing group of ladies who for 30 years have been helping a wide array of local charities with their annual event.

Each year the group selects a people based charity and an animal charity, and then holds a wonderful dinner, complete with raffle and wish list items for each charity. All the raffle proceeds go to the charity, along with the wish list items that have been brought to the event.

Since we work with both animals and people, we were the sole charity to be honored, and got all of the attention. Dee and I brought along Max and Moose, and the four of us arrived at the Roseville Elks lodge and right when we walked in, again, Wow!

The room was magnificently decorated, buzzing with energy and excitement, and filled to capacity by the time dinner was ready to be served. The leaders of the group, had asked us earlier what items we needed, and we gave them our wish list. Off the side of the room was an 8 foot table that was heaping with items from that list, along with a basket that was filled with checks and gift cards. Wow!

The boys were a huge hit, my bride looked marvelous, and we got to spend the evening with more than 100 amazing women sharing the joys of what we do the sanctuary. It was a magical, wonderful evening.

I was asked to give a talk, and was honored to share about our history, our current challenges, and the blessings that have been found amongst them, along with our great hopes and dreams for the future. We extended an invite to all to come and visit the sanctuary, and were told that many plan to attend the December 12th Open House.

I would add a special Thank You to the leaders of the group; Kathy Timmons, Jonni Spehar, Ruby Shoemaker, and Linda Norris. It was they who made the choice of our sanctuary being the charity of choice, and as many know, it could not have come at a better time.

The event raised more than $2,200 for the sanctuary (not including the value of the wish list items), and the four of us drove home feeling like our tanks had been filled to the brim. We were floating, and will never forget the evening, the new friends we have made, and the kindness that was extended to our sanctuary.