Thursday, January 22, 2009

Love Everlasting

"What the hell..." Carol mutters as a figure appears in the heart of the road. Like a statue, it stood still, not attempting to move out of the path of Carol's Toyota. Carol slams the brakes and the quick stop, sends the car spinning into a snow bank. Her car sits 180 degrees half buried, parallel to the frozen lake. She steps down from the car and looks for whoever was standing in the road, but no one is there. Carol kicks the back tire that sticks up in the air curses, and releases her tears.

The snow changes to ice and it stings her face, she tries to get back in the car. After several attempts, she opens the door, climbs in, and reaches for her purse. "Shit!" she cries out, "no freaking reception!"

A sudden shadow appears on her left and a woman is standing in the road, feet from her car. Her heart jumps along with her body, until she realizes it is Mrs. Borelli, Tony’s mother. Carol rolls the window down. "Hi, Mom! What are you doing here?" Mrs. Borelli is the only person Carol called Mom, beside her own.

"I work at the inn around the bend saw the car go into a spin, didn't know it was you. Come with me and I’ll heat up some soup. Were you going to the cemetery? Tony wouldn’t want you traveling in this weather, come with me. ”

Carol gets out of her car and embraces the woman and the two walk the road with arms intertwine keeping each other from falling as they reminisce.

“Carol I was crushed when you broke up with Tony. What happened? He didn’t say much, I'd always hoped the two of you would marry.”
“Me too Mom, however I couldn't compete with his mistress."
"Mistress? Tony wasn't seeing anyone that I know of. Who was she?"
Carol strains holding in tears and attempts to swallow the lump in her throat. She is about to start blubbering, when they reach White's Inn. The door of the inn opens to the kitchen and a myriad of aromas saturate Carol's nose, yeast from fresh bread, onions and beef from stew, apples from a crisp, and the unusual scent Carol couldn't place, but knew well.

"Take off that wet coat, I'll get you some soup." Mrs. Borelli continues to talk "I can't believe you're here! How long has it been?”

"Twenty years? I'm not sure, but it seems like yesterday." Carol thought back to the time she spent with Mom while dating Tony. Mom and her would prepare meals, go to the hairdressers, play hearts, and other mother/daughter activities. "How long, have you been working here?"

"Years, live here too. My house was empty without the kids or Jerry and this job was perfect. I make the breads, soups, desserts, and salads. Guess it has been 15 years give or take a few. I love the work and I can see Tony’s grave across the lake. Can you see it?” Mrs. Borelli points her index finger towards the window. “What about you Carol; Married? Kids?" Mrs. Borelli keeps chatting and places a bowl of minestrone in front of Carol. "Mangiare!"

"I’ve been divorced ten years, no children. One of my many regrets, I never could find another love like Tony." Carol stops and takes a spoonful the soup. "This soup is wonderful."
"It was one of Tony's favorites. Remember? You mentioned a mistress of Tony‘s. Who was she?"
"It wasn't a woman, it was...drugs. I'm surprised you didn't know."
"Oh sweetie, I knew. However, I'd always thought he started using because you left him. God, I wish I'd known. You should've talked with me, honey."

"I know, but I was scared, it never occurred to me to talk with you. I did everything else, threatened, screamed, and broke up with him. I thought that he'd come to his senses, but he didn't." Carol takes another spoonful of soup. "You are a wonderful cook, always were. Did Tony die from a drug overdose?"
"That’s what they say, but I say he died of a broken heart, he was lost without you. He stopped using drugs for long time... and then one night he...slipped. I never told him."
"Told him what?"

"Tony was doing well, but he was lonely. He dated some, but he never found the one. He mentioned, finding you and trying to work things out, but he didn't know where you were. One day I ran into your friend Trish, she told me you were living in Boston. I never told Tony. I thought you would hurt him again. I feel so guilty." Mrs. Borelli wipes a tear with the back of her hand. "I'm so sorry Carol."

Carol gives her a hug. "I'd run back to him barefoot in a snowstorm, if I only had the chance."

"I know that now sweetie, I need to let him know."

"Let him know?"

"Prayers, I talk to him everyday, hope he forgives me."

"He'll forgive you, Mom." Carol kisses Mrs. Borelli’s cheek. "But will he forgive me for moving away?" Mom, I have to go to the cemetery.”

"Wait, the storm will be over soon."

"No, I must go now. He's waiting for me."

"Carol, you need to wait, now is not the time." Mrs. Borelli's pleads.

Carol runs out the door before Mrs. Borelli gets up from her chair.


"Miss, do you know where you are? Dr. Pulio’s voice stirred Carol.

“Yeah, I am in a hospital, or God looks a lot like a Doctor.”

“Glad you have a sense of humor. Why did you try to kill yourself?” The doctor asks and touches Carol's hand.

“What kind of question is that?” Carol's brow crinkled and her eyes meet the doctor's.

“Your car was in a ditch with the tailpipe in the snow, and your engine was running. Carbon monoxide. What were we to think? What were you doing on that road?"

“I was going to St. Mary’s Cemetery and made a wrong turn. Someone was standing in the road when I hit the brakes; my car spun and went into a snow bank... I went to White's Inn with ...”

“Can't be, White’s Inn closed 17 years ago, it’s in shambles, if it's still standing." The doctor tone is stern and no nonsense.

"Maybe I imagined going there, while I was out." Carol wonders how long she's been unconscious.

"You've been in here for two days, lots of time for dreams. . . An admirer sent you some flowers.”

Carol’s turns and sees the largest bouquet of vibrant red poppies she ever witnessed. "Is there a card?"

Dr. Pulio checks the flowers, grabs the envelope and hands it to Carol.

Neither death nor distance will destroy our love,
It is living and everlasting.
Stay here my love until the time is right,
And I’ll carry you in my arms to heaven
Where we will share our love forever.
Happy Valentine’s Day
Love T.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Helping Your Dog Heal

My husband and I currently have four pugs and take in foster pugs for a local rescue organization. Most of the dogs come to us with health problems. One foster pug, Porkchop’s fold was raw and bright red. A vet even suggested plastic surgery to reduce the beautiful deep wrinkle gracing his nose. The rescue organization asked us to take him and see if we could help him, before opting for expensive surgery. They knew of our success with sick dogs.
After an anti-allergy diet we put Porkchop on a human grade dog food Canidae. Within 2 weeks, there was a noticeable improvement. After six weeks, hair began to grow back in his fold, and his ears were no longer hot and itchy. Of course we adopted him.
We are life-long dog owners and fed our dogs’ commercial food for years, until they started having health problems with hot spots, ear infections, and lethargy. After numerous vet trips and bills I started to investigate the ingredients in our dogs’ food a popular lamb and rice formula. I was surprised and puzzled to see the ingredient animal by-product.
I called the company’s 800-number and questioned a representative about animal by-products. She informed me that animal by-products contain various parts of many animals even chicken. What? I fed our dogs lamb and rice because of their allergies to chicken.
Further investigation revealed levels of sodium pentobarbital in commercial food. According to the FDA the drug entered the animal digest from euthanized animals. Another troublesome ingredient is Animal-digest: "Material from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.” I was now aware of the toxicity of many commercial dog foods.
The first three ingredients in dog food represent 75% of the dog food. It should list Beef, Chicken, and Lamb etc to show it is pure. The ingredients listed after are contained in the additional 25%. For example, corn listed as one of the first three ingredients is less desirable than if listed as the eight ingredient. Corn is hard for dogs to digest.
Common ingredients present in most commercial dog food to avoid.
Poultry, Beef, Lamb, or Meat Meals: ground up clean tissues.
Brewer's Rice: Extracted residue of rice after the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer.
Corn gluten meal: Residue from corn after removal of starch, germ and the separating the bran when manufacturing cornstarch or syrup.

Animal Fat: Fat source often made up of rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils too rancid or deemed inedible for humans.
Digest of Beef, Chicken or Meat By-Products: Material taken from the undecomposed tissue from non-rendered clean parts of the animal including, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines freed of their contents.
We pay a little more now for our dog food, but it is less expensive than the vet bills, and our dogs are healthy