Here I am with my husband, Jody. This was taken at Disneyland in September 2015, and I must say, neither of us has looked better in recent years. Jody and I have been married since 1978, so I guess it’s safe to say we’re a couple for life.
Jody is the guy behind the curtain for me, the one who is always there, always supportive, always helpful. He doesn’t offer me advice with my writing, which is good since he isn’t a writer. He doesn’t complain that I haven’t landed that million dollar book contract yet. Or that I probably never will. He believes in me and encourages me to keep trying. What more could any spouse ask of his or her better half? Thank you, my dear. I love you.
Although Jody and I have been empty nesters since moving to Fresno in 2002, our two daughters, Carrie and Katie, continue to keep in touch, so I guess we did something right in the parenting department.
Both girls can no doubt remember their mother sitting first at a desk and typewriter, later behind a computer screen, spending hour after hour plucking away at the keyboard. Like Jody, they remain a source of inspiration. If they don’t really believe in me, they put on a great act. Hopefully the newest member of the family, little Benicio, will carry on the tradition! Love you all so much!
In addition to the human members of my family, I would like to introduce each of my animal companions. To avoid hard feelings, I’m listing them by size, largest first.
This handsome fellow is J.R. (short for Junior). I brought him home at the sweet little age of 8 weeks (only 9 pounds!) in July of 2013. As most people who know me realize, I am a boxer lady. This is our fourth boxer, and the only one I got as a pup. Now a trim but muscular 66 pounds, he is well on his way to carrying on the boxer tradition of being as silly as any breed will ever be. His name stems from my love of the old TV show, Dallas, as well as his predecessor, Kook, who passed away in his sleep at the age of 13. We still miss you big guy! I think you would be proud of how J.R. is carrying on your tradition.
Next up is Elvis. Yes, his name is really Elvis–and I didn’t even name him myself! I adopted him in September of 2010, and his name is partly why. As Julia said when I told her about him, how can you not take a dog named Elvis home?! She was right. He is a dachshund basset hound mix, though he looks mostly like a dachshund, or, as my vet pal Dr. Brewer says, “the largest dachshund in the world.” He is a solid 45 pounds, and has no trouble pushing J.R. around when he feels like it. When our beloved Kook passed, Elvis took over as leader of the pack and I don’t think he plans on relinquishing that title any time soon.
The last of our canine crew is Lila, a 25 pound terrier mix. Lila came to us four hears ago from Oakland, where Carrie volunteers at a no kill shelter. Lila was returned to the shelter because of separation anxiety. She proved quite a challenge, but thanks to Fresno’s top notch dog trainer, Brittany at Instinct Dog Training, Lila has learned to get along with other dogs and adjusted to being in a crate when necessary. She loves her brothers, who let her get away with just about everything. While she barks a big game, she has become my little cuddle pop.
Batman, or Bat for short, was so named for the mask on his face. He is definately more in tune with the modern-day Batman than the earlier Adam West TV era caped crusader. Bat takes his job of Cat Spokesman very seriously. He can meow for hours on end, however long it takes to make food appear in all the cat dishes. Batman would, however, prefer to belong to the canine side of the family. He is mezmorized by the National Geographic channel whenver Dogtown or The Dog Whisperer are on. He also prefers hanging out with the canines, though he has yet to convince them of the value of his grooming skills.