Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Michael Jackson Photo

Is that image predicting what Michael Jackson would look like at age 40 for real?

Well, yes and no. It’s not an actual photo of Michael Jackson, but it IS an actual photo from 1985 predicting what Michael Jackson was going to look like 15 years from THEN.

One of the sad things about Michael Jackson’s life…which ended this past June…was the fact that he was never satisfied with his own appearance. Jackson reportedly had plastic surgery after plastic surgery, to the point where his face was almost completely unrecognizable, and even shades lighter than his original skin tone.

Now an e-mail is circulating that shows a picture of Michael projecting how he would look at the age of 40. When the picture was published in the August 1985 issue of Ebony magazine, Michael Jackson was a handsome young black man. The projection of how he would look in 2000 showed him as a handsome 40 year old black man. The magazine couldn’t have known that Jackson would go on to totally change his appearance in the ensuing years.

So if you get that e-mail? Yep, it’s legitimate.

More in this story.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My father passed away 5 years ago today

It's hard to believe it's been five years since my father died. Shortly after he passed away, when it was all still fresh on my mind, I wrote about it. I'm reprising it today.

By the way, I think I miss him more, not less! His sister, my aunt Jean, died Saturday night. She was a precious, dear woman, and I'll miss her very much. But I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that she's having an amazing reunion with her two brothers, her sister and her parents. As Bart Millard sings, "I can only imagine"!

In Loving Memory (originally posted August 2004)

My father, Thomas V. "Pepper" Garrett, went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, July 28th, 2004.

Many of you know that my dad has been dying of cirrhosis of the liver/liver cancer for the past few years. In fact, not too long ago I blogged about my memories of wonderful times spent conversing with my dad.

He was a Baptist pastor and missionary whose entire life was dedicated to ministry. He was a wonderful man--wise, funny, kind, generous, musically talented. He adored his family and was happiest when we were all gathered around him.

I had planned for quite some time to visit my folks July 26th through August 4th. I knew my dad's condition and quality of life had deteriorated greatly, and although I didn't really expect him to die that soon, I wanted to spend some time with them, particularly to give my mom moral support and help in any way I could.

As it happened, the Thursday before the Monday I was to fly to Texas, my parents moved into the Christopher House, a hospice in Austin. An appalling feature of my dad's disease was that he suffered from nocturnal agitation. Although he was extremely weak, he could not stop walking around the house at night, to the point where his feet actually swelled. Besides depriving him of sleep, it did the same thing to my mom, who was his major caregiver.

My dad's hospice nurse had suggested taking him to the Christopher House for a few days so stronger medication could be administered that would give him and my mom some rest.

As it happened, my dad went to sleep on Thursday night and woke up only once--briefly on Friday night--until the following Wednesday.

Beverly, Dad and me July 2003

After ascertaining that my dad would probably be dying at the Christopher House, I was extremely concerned about whether I would be able to see my dad alive one more time. The airline tickets for my daughter and me had been purchased on Hotwire, and couldn't be changed.

Fortunately, I had said everything I wanted to say to my dad in previous visits. I had no regrets on that point. I just wanted to see him alive one more time.

As soon as Elizabeth and I arrived in Austin, my sister took us directly to the Christopher House. My dad was in a deep sleep, but when I told him I was there, he physically responded and even tried to open his eyes.

The next many hours in the Christopher House were extraordinary. My sisters, my mom and I kept watch over my dad, frequently joined by other loved ones. The nurses and doctors had told us that my dad could hear us, so they encouraged us to talk to him and sing to him. Although we often broke down in tears, there were also times of laughter and reminiscing.

When we sang to him, it was amazing to see him respond even while asleep. He would move his mouth and raise his eyebrows as if trying to join in with us. My dad could never hear anyone singing without wanting to join in! He was a beautiful singer and musician, and loved singing for the Lord more than anything.

My dad, mom and sisters before my dad's illness

On Monday night, my mom and my siblings all spent the night in the small room at the Christopher House. My mom and Beverly slept on a small couch that folded out into a small bed. I slept on a recliner. Lisa slept on a mat on the floor; David slept on the bare floor. We had grieved and said what we thought would be our final good-byes to our dad, but he didn't pass away that night. The vigil continued on Tuesday. It was extremely difficult to see my father's labored and ragged breathing, and it continued to worsen.

At 12:30 AM Wednesday morning, Lisa and her husband David and I decided to go to her house and try to get some sleep. My dad's heartbeat was still relatively strong, and it didn't appear he would die in the next several hours. We knew the next day would probably be a rough one, and decided it would be better to face it after having had some rest.

However, shortly before 7 AM on Wednesday morning, my mom called to tell us my dad only had a few minutes. Shortly afterwards she called to tell us that he had indeed passed away, at 7:05 AM.

You often hear stories about Christians seeing a glimpse of heaven as they died. D. L. Moody reportedly said: "Is this dying? Why this is bliss...There is no valley....I have been within the gates...Earth is receding; Heaven is opening; God is calling; I must go."

My dad never spoke, but my sister and my mom tell me he woke with a start; his eyes came open, clear, bright and aware, and he looked up with an expression of incredible awe and joy on his face. As they talked to him, telling him they loved him, he continued to look upward with that rapturous expression before taking two peaceful breaths (his earlier breathing had been labored and difficult), then he went home to glory.

I wish I had been there. But just hearing my mom and sister describing mom called it a "beautiful" death...renews my faith. Heaven is not just a lovely myth; it is REAL. And I believe my dad caught a glimpse of it before his soul actually departed his body.

The funeral, on Saturday, was more a celebration than anything else. There were tears, but there was laughter as well. There was joy! Beverly, Lisa and I had pre-recorded "Home Where I Belong" and Lisa had pre-recorded "Beulah Land," (we would never have been able to make it through the songs live) and a tape of the song "At The Crossing" was played.

The way the service ended was extremely fitting. My dad loved nothing more than when his close and extended family members would gather around the piano and sing. With my cousin Elaine playing the piano, several of my cousins sang "I'll Fly Away." It was wonderful! My dad would have loved it.

How do people who don't know the Lord make it through the deaths of their loved ones? I'm so glad we don't "sorrow as those who have no hope." We'll miss our dad terribly, but we'll see him again. And he is happier and better off now than he ever was in these "Shadowlands."

I'll close with the poem my mom chose to put in the programme of my father's funeral:

"SERVANT of God! well done,
Rest from thy loved employ;
The battle is fought, the vict'ry won,
Enter thy Master's joy.

The voice at midnight came
He started up to hear
A mortal arrow pierced his frame,
He fell--but felt no fear.

The pains of death are past,
Labor and sorrow cease;
And life's long warfare closed at last,
His soul is found in peace.

Soldier of Christ, well done!-
Begin thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in they Savior's joy."--James Montgomery

Monday, July 27, 2009

Stuff I've never done, that's ALWAYS done in the movies

The summer movie season is in full swing. So Men’s Health came up with this list of things happen all the time on screen, but never in real life: “I’ve never…” (Note: my co-host Darren Marlar and I revised it a little, and even added a couple.)

• Bumped my head and gotten amnesia.

• Left the water on in the bathroom sink long enough to flood the whole house.

• Been chased through the forest, tripped, and twisted my ankle, compromising my escape, but I still say, “Don’t stop. Go on without me.”

• Been stuck in an elevator with a woman I hated, but by the time the elevator was repaired, we were passionately making out. (*revised for family friendliness :))

• Been stuck in an elevator with a pregnant woman.

• Said, “Open this door or I’m breaking it down.”

• Found myself on top of a moving train.

• Picked a lock with a credit card.

• Said, “Don’t do it, man. Just give me the gun.”

• Been to a wedding where someone stood up and objected.

• Collapsed onto my car horn.

• Seen a bunch of homeless guys standing around a flaming trash can, singing doo-wop and wearing gloves with the fingers cut off.

• Dialed a “555″ phone number.

• Closed my medicine-cabinet door and seen someone in the mirror who wasn’t there 3 seconds ago.

• Ran into a church where the girl I loved was about to get married to someone else, but upon seeing me stopped the wedding and professed her love to me (and either ran out the door with me, or WE got married instead...and the former groom admitted he was in love with one of the bridesmaids.) (*added by Darren and me)

• Rushed to the airport to stop the woman I just realized I love from leaving, and as I get to the gate, I see her plane pulling away, and then feel empty because I think that my best chance at love is now gone, but, as I turn away, she’s standing there because she decided at the last minute not to get on the plane because she realized that she loves me too and was hoping I would come to the airport to get her.


Woken up in the morning, after a long night of sleeping, with a full face of make-up and breath fresh enough to kiss someone. (added by me!)

Got any to add? :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: 13 of the Most Popular Hymns of All Time

Well, lists 100 most popular hymns in alphabetical order. So I decided I would choose 13 of my personal favorites for today's Thursday Thirteen.

(By the way, Semicolon has been featuring an ongoing project about the most popular hymns, based on feedback from readers of her blog.)

1. A Mighty Fortress is Our God
2. Be Thou My Vision
3. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
4. Great Is Thy Faithfulness
5. Holy, Holy, Holy
6. How Firm a Foundation
7. I Need Thee Every Hour
8. It is Well with My Soul
9. Nearer My God to Thee
10. O Worship the King
11. There Is A Fountain
12. When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

And...MY personal favorite hymn, which was incredibly NOT on this list:

13. And Can It Be?

I once blogged about the song:

The vivid word picture painted by the verse about his spirit languishing in prison, only to be awakened when "the dungeon flamed with light" never fails to stir me, and is my favorite verse in all of hymnology:

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray—
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;
My chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."

What are YOUR favorites?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of the Facebook Forward

Is Facebook going to delete your account if you don’t forward a particular message?

The answer is NO…and if you get such a message on other free online services like Hotmail, Myspace, YouTube and others, you can ignore them as well.

This message has been showing up on Facebook for quite a while now, and my co-host Darren Marlar actually just got it last week. It reads in part:

“Facebook is recently becoming very overpopulated,there have been many members complaining that Facebook is becoming very slow. Records show that the reason is that there are too many non-active Facebook members and, on the other side, too many new Facebook members.

"We will be sending this message around to see if members are active or not. If you are active please send to at least 15 other users using Copy+ Paste to show that you are still active. *Those who do not send this message within 2 weeks will be deleted without hesitation to create more space.”

The message is supposedly signed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. tells us that this hoax originated in 1999, but it was about Hotmail at the time...and it’s been falsely used with MySpace, Yahoo, MSN and several others.

And sums it up pretty well:

“Facebook officials have made no public announcements saying that the service has become ‘overpopulated’ or has ‘slowed down.’ Administrators of social networking sites on this scale don't issue misspelled and ungrammatical chain letters to their members. And even if they did, they wouldn't announce in an email that they "need to get rid of some people" to make room for the rest.

File this one in the trash bin where it belongs.”

Clearing up another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop…reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that “send” button!

Wordless Wednesday

My grandson Payton and my niece Arden show off their swimwear at the beach

Thursday, July 16, 2009

13 Great and/or Funny Quotes

OK...these start out seriously, but they slowly spiral down into outright silliness. But enjoy!

1- America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.--Abraham Lincoln

2- Beauty in not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.--Kahlil Gibran

3- A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.--C.S. Lewis

4- The issue is clear. It is between light and darkness, and everyone must choose his side.--G.K. Chesterton

5- Spiritual joy is: The settled conviction that God sovereignly controls the events of life for the believers’ good and His glory. Spiritual joy is not an attitude dependent on chance or circumstance. It is the deep and abiding confidence that regardless of one’s circumstances in life, all is well between the believer and the Lord.--John MacArthur

6- Forgiveness is not that stripe which says, "I will forgive, but not forget." It is not to bury the hatchet with the handle sticking out of the ground, so you can grasp it the minute you want it.--D. L. Moody

7- I don't find slashing and blood flying everywhere to be scary. I just find it repulsive.--Dean Koontz

8- A dress that zips up the back will bring a husband and wife together.--James H. Boren

9- "Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."--Principal in "Billy Madison"

10- Prince Humperdinck: [sincerely] "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped."
Count Rugen: "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, then you haven't got anything."--From "The Princess Bride"

11- "Over the years I got to be quite a connossieur of soap. Though my personal preference was for Lux, I found that Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heavy, but with a touch of mellow smoothness. Life Buoy, on the other hand... YECCHH!"--From "A Christmas Story"

12- I can't stand cheap people. It makes me real mad when someone says something like, "Hey, when are you going to pay me that $100 you owe me?" or "Do you have that $50 you borrowed?" Man, quit being so cheap!--Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

13- If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.--Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My interview with author Lisa T. Bergren

"What would it be like to be 'chasing the cure,' to be so sick that you would leave your home and get to a place where you're hoping to be well again? What does that mean on a physical level, but then also an emotional and spiritual level?"--Lisa T. Bergren

I recently blogged about Lisa T. Bergren's terrific Breathe: A Novel of Colorado. Today I had a great conversation with the author herself.

If you check out Lisa's bio, you find that she's been involved in just about every aspect of Christian fiction, from editor to bookseller. I'm sure she was just great in each of those roles, but I can tell you that she really shines as a writer.

Lisa and I talked about how, as a resident of Colorado Springs, she was prompted to write a book focusing on how the town was a haven, in the late 18-hundreds, for consumptives--as people who suffered from tuberculosis was then known. She found the research into how people "chased the cure" fascinating--and so did I as a reader.

We also talked about the main characters in "Breathe," who will also be featured in the remaining two books of the trilogy. They are siblings Dominic, Odessa and Moira St. Clair. Lisa's skilled pen brings their very different, flawed but appealing personalities to life.

Lisa doesn't avoid Christian content in her novels, but she likes it to rise "organically" from the story. And it does--imparting spiritual truth, but never feeling forced, cliched or heavy-handed.

You can hear the entire interview here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A social-networking version of West Side Story...and other stuff

The lovely Natalie Wood in the real West Side Story

--Too cute! If you're a fan of West Side Story, you've got to check this out. Hat tip to author Angela Hunt.

--Also from Angela Hunt (is she on a roll, or what?): When your parents join Facebook. Ah, the humiliation...

--More good reasons to eat your strawberries.

--Has someone ever forgiven you for something you never apologized for...or didn't know you did? This is tongue-in-cheek, but SO true.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Melange

Main Entry: mé·lange
Pronunciation: \mā-ˈläⁿzh, -ˈlänj\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French, from mesler, meler to mix — more at meddle
Date: 1653
: a mixture often of incongruous elements

Here you go--more fascinating links and tidbits!

(for the first three items, a hat tip to my co-worker, Darren Marlar):
--Today is National French Fries Day. Here are some suggestions on how to celebrate the day. And here are some interesting facts about fries.

What are your favorite french fries? I'm not really particular about mine, but it's hard to beat good old McDonald's fries. Let me know your faves in my comments section!

--Today is also Childhood Memories day. I would blog about some of my favorite childhood memories, but I already did so here.

--Today is also Embrace Your Geekiness Day--so go ahead, watch those old Star Trek or Star Wars DVDs and wear your pocket protector happily. :)

--American Idol's Ryan Seacrest is rich and getting richer.

--Wow, it seems as if everyone is hopping on the Twitter bandwagon...even Queen Elizabeth. Well, the British monarchy. The Queen won't be personally tweeting about what purse she plans to accessorize with today.

"You could really be a Beau Brummell, baby, if you just gave it half a chance..."

Actor James Purefoy as Beau Brummell in the BBC Drama, "This Charming Man"

--To further illustrate my avowal that I'll read the ketchup bottle if nothing else is handy...I've been reading a biography of Beau Brummell that is actually quite fascinating. Did you know that Brummell is credited for creating the man's suit? Well, it didn't look the same circa 18-hundred, but it set the stage for it.

Brummell took hours to get dressed, and he shocked everyone by actually bathing his entire body every day (1800 must've been a pretty smelly time.)

Best of all, Brummell was funny. He had a dry wit that would actually stand up pretty well today.

Sadly, although he was the "ultimate man of style" as the book suggests, his personal life was a mess. He died penniless and insane with syphilis.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cindy's Stuff to Tell You!

Do you keep your friends closer and your frenemies closer?

It's been a while, but "Stuff to Tell You" is back--with a round-up of a plethora of interesting links and tidbits.

--"Frenemy" and "sock puppet" are among the 100 new words in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

--Who knew? Cutting calories might lengthen your least it does for monkeys

--I'm not crazy about this story about how "Lost" is going to end...simply because it includes the words "very sad." But it also says it will be good, at least according to Matthew Fox

--Speaking of "Lost"--wouldn't you just love to own a Benjamin Linus bobblehead?

--Andrae Crouch sets the record straight about what went on during his final meetings with Michael Jackson

--Today is theologian John Calvin's 500th birthday--and Ben Witherington says it deserves to be celebrated.

--Tomorrow is Free Slurpee Day at 7-11's across the country (the chain is celebrating its 82nd birthday

Now everyone go out and have an amazing Friday!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Strong story, appealing characters make "Breathe" a great read

As a radio interviewer, I get a lot of Christian fiction crossing my desk. Most of it I enjoy. But frankly, some books I abandon because, even though they're not terrible, they just don't "grab" me.

Breathe: A Novel of Colorado, by Lisa T. Bergren, certainly doesn't fall into the latter category. This book grabbed me from the very first page and kept me reading way past my bedtime--for me, a sure mark of a teriffic read.

I've read lots of fiction featuring people with tuberculosis--or "consumption," as it was called in the 18-hundreds--but never one in which the "consumptive" actually recovered and went on to live a healthy life. That's just one of the intriguing things about "Breathe."

Set in Colorado Springs in the late 18-hundreds, this is the first in a series about the St. Clair family--two sisters and a brother who journey by train from Philadelphia for one of the siblings to "chase the cure" and open a bookstore for their wealthy publisher father.

Apparently Colorado Springs was highly sought-after by people suffering from tuberculosis in that era because of its beneficial climate.

The beginning of the book plunges us immediately into the action: just as the St. Clair's train is about to pull into Colorado Springs, their sister Odessa is on the brink of death.

The scene establishes the three main characters: Odessa, gentle, ladylike and courageous; Moira, loving but flighty and ambitious; Nic, determined to protect his sisters, but frustrated by the role thrust upon him by his father and anxious to find his own place in life.

As we follow Odessa's recovery and budding romance at a sanatorium, Moira's involvement with the town's tyrannical sheriff, and Nic's secret life as an alcohol-swigging boxer, there's a strong subplot involving murder and mystery that would keep you turning the pages even if the interesting characters didn't.

Lisa T. Bergren is an excellent writer. A Colorado Springs resident herself, she infuses the story with the feel of authenticity and a strong sense of place.

Best of all, she's not afraid to acknowledge Christian faith throughout the story, and she portrays it in a way that is neither preachy nor cheesy.

I highly recommend "Breathe," and I can't wait for the next book in the trilogy.

By the way, I'll be interviewing Lisa T. Bergren for my radio show, and I'll be sure to blog about it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop: The Case of The Fake Air Crash Photographs

Are photographs of an airliner breaking up in midair for real?

An e-mail that's currently circulating shows photographs of the interior of an airplane cabin as the plane breaks up. The latest version of the e-mail claims the pictures were taken just before the Airbus A330-200 operated by Air France went down over the Atlantic Ocean while en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1st 2009.

The e-mail includes these comments: "Feel so sad for all the passengers including the extraordinary photographer, who kept his cool even in his last moments of life and took this photo. Hats off to him!!!"

Other versions of the e-mail claim the pictures were taken aboard a plane that crashed over Brazil in September 2006.
and other sources tell us that neither version is true. Where did those pictures actually come from?

Well, they're actually screen shots for the pilot episode of the popular ABC TV show, "Lost"! (No wonder they looked familiar to me the instant I saw them--"Lost" is one of the CyberSnoop's very favorite TV shows!)

In fact, if you look closely, you can see actress Evangeline Lilly, who plays Kate Austen, in the left hand side one of the photographs.

A Brazilian man has admitted to propagating the hoax on his blog in October 2006.

Clearing up another internet rumor, this is Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop...reminding you to check it out BEFORE you hit that SEND button!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Who could forget Farrah?

Especially if you're a child of the 70s...

(As a college girl), I was captivated by Farrah Fawcett--the long-limbed, athletic, tanned figure, the dazzling mega-watt smile, but most of all THE HAIR...the gorgeous, thick, out-of-control mane of blonde highlights

With all the hoopla surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, the death of Farrah Fawcett on the very same day has been greatly overshadowed.

But although Jackson was a pop icon on a grander scale, Farrah Fawcett was no slouch when it came to being an icon for her generation. You KNOW that, if--like me--you grew up in the 1970s.

If you're a woman, chances are you tried to coax your hair into the famous Farrah Flip-Back. I know I did! In fact, if you looked at the pages of my 1978 college yearbook, you'll notice that probably a good 75 per cent of the girls were doing the same thing.

If you were a guy, you no doubt vividly remember the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster (some of which I've cropped here in the interest of family friendliness.)

I made sure I was watching "Charlie's Angels" each week (those were the days when if you didn't catch it the first time, there was no TiVo to allow you to view it at your convenience) and I was shocked when she walked away from the series after only one highly-successful year. Let's face it, Cheryl Ladd was a doll, but she was no Farrah.

Am I saying I admired Farrah Fawcett for her morals or wished to emulate her life? No.

In fact, I don't understand why she and Ryan O'Neal couldn't have legitimized their union, especially when their son came along. I certainly don't applaud her appearing in Playboy--although, doing so at the age of 50, you've gotta give her her props. I mean, come on...50!

I also really question her use of plastic surgery. I blogged about that four years ago:

"...I'll try not to be unkind here, but I no longer envy Farrah her looks. The poor thing is a prime example of plastic surgery run amok. Her once-lovely face is almost unrecognizable--and I have to say, why? Surely the normal aging process would have been kinder to Farrah than the cosmetic surgery. (Yes, she still does have a terrific figure, I'll give her that.)"

However, Farrah Fawcett did show real courage in her fight against cancer, even allowing herself to be video-taped in graphic depictions of the ravages of the disease.

And, as I also blogged about in the afore-mentioned post, she appeared to have a beautiful relationship with her parents. I wrote this after watching an episode of her reality show, Chasing Farrah:

The show last night focused on her parents, Jim and Pauline. They allowed the cameras into their Houston home, and they were the most charming thing about the show last night.

First of all, Jim reminded me of so many Texas men that I've known all my life (including even a little bit of my dad), that it made me a little sad and nostalgic right off the bat. Farrah's relationship with him is very sweet. Although she's in her late 50's, she is still Daddy's little girl, which was just the case with me and my own father, who passed away in 2004.

Farrah's mother, Pauline, was lovely. It was obvious that little or no plastic surgery had been done on her--although she was quite old, there was none of that pinched and cookie-cutter look to her face. Yet she was a very attractive lady. I could also relate to Farrah's relationship with her mom. I adore my own mother, and it was obvious Farrah was crazy about hers.

At one point, Farrah got emotional when she was talking to the camera about her love for her parents and her concern about the fact that they were growing old, and she might have to face life without them someday.

At the end of the show, a taped phone message could be heard. It was Farrah's dad, obviously calling from his wife's hospital room, telling Farrah she needed to get there as soon as she could.

The show closed with an "in loving memory" note, and the birth and death dates of Pauline Alice Fawcett.

Yeah...I cried.

I hope Farrah made peace with her Maker before she passed into the next world. But this is certain: those of us who grew up with Farrah Fawcett won't be forgetting her.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Enchanting Port Aransas, Texas

That's my adorable little grandson, Payton, on the Gulf shores of Port Aransas, Texas, where I spent part of my vacation. And all I can say is: I want to go back!

As the community's website touts, this is "Texas--Island Style!" Port Aransas is a little community on the northern tip of Mustang Island, off Corpus Christi.

Making the whole experience even more wonderful was the fact that so many of my family members were along for the fun--all my children, my daughter-in-law, my grandson, my mom, my sister and her family, and at one point, my brother's wife and daughters.

We would start out the day on the beach, playing in the waves and enjoying the wet sand under our toes. Sooner or later, we'd head up the private boardwalk to shower the sand and salt off our swimsuits, and end up in the pool.

In the evenings, we'd sample the local cuisine and maybe do a little browsing in the many quaint shops.

Most nights, my sister and I would chat while sitting in the Adirondack chairs pictured here, enjoying the Texas stars and the ocean breezes.

Altogether, Port Aransas was a delightful experience that I can't wait to repeat.

My sister Lisa and me at Port Aransas
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