Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A year ago today....

It's hard to believe it's been a year. It seems like yesterday. I remember VIVIDLY everything about Christmas last year. Melissa was SO happy to be home (at least to mom & dad's)...it was so good to have her home. Not easy, but good. She came home from Hospice with at least 13 different meds...took the first PILLS at 6 a.m., then 9, noon, 3, 6, 9. She NEVER complained. EVER. Loved having visitors (kind of quiet here this year)....LOVED having Drew here. He LOVED having Aunt Fort here - very curious about all the oxygen tubing... and Aunt Fort's oxygen mask...and the bed in the family room! I remember right after we got her home - I went upstairs for something. When I came back down to the family room - she was GONE. She was easy to find though. She was attached to about 45 feet of oxygen tubing. I followed the tubing to the basement, where she was just wandering around. I couldn't believe she could walk down the steps...I shouldn't have been surprised though. She was so happy just to be able to move around in familiar surroundings. Just checkin' everything out. OH how good it was to have her here. She really wanted to go to a Fairmont girls basketball game, but never made that. (I was so afraid she would get SICK... so many people out there with the FLU... OMG. The FLU? What in the world was I thinking. So when she said she wanted to go shopping, we went. Someone asked recently "what did she get you"...and when I read her post about the shopping trip, I realized she didn't say what she got us,just that "it was something that would benefit HER as well as us!"...She hated our computer monitor - wasn't big enough for her - so she bought us a moniter. She wheeled herself around Target and told me to "STAY AWAY"...I don't even think she let John help her - he just followed her around with the cart, letting her fill it. And Christmas Eve? We had fun watching Drew open his first present...and promised that "next year, I'm taking everything out of the boxes before I wrap them"....I loved the sound of that...Christmas NEXT year. And she said more than once "this is the BEST Christmas EVER."

And here we are. NEXT Christmas. It's hard to believe. A WHOLE year without her. I miss her voice, her LAUGHTER especially. We have so many WONDERFUL memories of that BEST CHRISTMAS EVER.

From our family to yours - we wish YOU the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER....

and of course, Fort would always end a post with the "cutest baby ever"....
now we have TWO of the cutest babies ever....

Aunt Fort helping Drew with a present...

Aunt Fort with Drew on Christmas Eve...

Drew - having fun a grandmas...a year later

Max - 4 mos.

Merry Christmas from our home to yours....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FORT'S Dream

Found it. I saved just about every email she sent me in the last couple of years...this was actually November 2007...just SEEMED like it was only a few months before...

From Fort -
I had the wildest dream last night….just a non stop eventful evening of dreams, but the one thing that really stuck out (and you know they always say your dreams are supposed to reflect your life or something) was, I was swimming in the ocean with a friend (I don’t know who the friend was) and there was a big black shark circling us. But I wasn’t afraid of it. And then the shark starts talking and its like, “Hey watch this” and all the people watching from the pier are getting freaked out and the shark keeps making these lunges like its coming after me, and everyone on the pier is on edge but I know the shark isn’t going hurt me. Im actually amused by it.

Weird, huh?

Monday, December 7, 2009


Fort always ended a post with a "ISN"T HE CUTE" photo of Drew...since I STILL don't know what I'm doing, really, I tried to end with the photo, but I'm starting with the photo of Drew AND MAX! Then on to the dreams....

Every once in awhile, Fort would post a "Question of the Day". Usually it was something she was interested in, and wanted to create some interesting reading.
WELL.....I have a "Question of the Day" for you.......
Have you had a dream about Fort? Since January?
Sadly, I have not. But a few people have told me they have, and have shared them with me. I REALLY need that now.
Donny has had two dreams about her. Woke up in the middle of the night, right after the dream, to tell me. In both dreams, he really felt like she was THERE.
While I have not had a dream about Melissa, I did have an interesting dream that I'm pretty sure was her. Before I tell you about the dream, I should first tell you that the day before I left, another good friend & I had been talking about dreams. She bought a book about DREAMS for me. I read a little, and found out about LUCID dreams, dreams in which you KNOW you are dreaming...so - my dream... I was at Cumberland with my good friend Shelly celebrating her 50th birthday. When the party started the first night, I just couldn't get into the celebration. I excused myself with "I'm just going to lay down for a little bit", with no intention of getting up for the partying later. In the dream, I there were two deer grazing on a hillside. That's it. I remember in my dream thinking "what is the significance of this? WHY am I dreaming about two deer? THAT'S it. I don't remember dreaming anything else. Needless to say, I never said anything to anyone about this "insignificant" dream. Fast forward
to the ride home. I was in a van with 3 women that I really didn't know. We didn't talk much about Melissa during the weekend, although they all knew the story. On the way home, someone asked about her, and of course I took the opportunity (having a captive audience that COULDN"T get away unless they jumped out of a moving vehicle) to tell Melissa's story. I cried for the rest of the 3 hour trip home. At one point, I was talking and staring out the window - and on the side of the road, EXACTLY like in my dream, were TWO DEER GRAZING ON A HILLSIDE! Standing in the same spot, EXACTLY like in my dream. That's it. Nothing else. It really didn't hit me until later. Really until I got home and told Donny. Was it Melissa sending me a message..."you're not ready to see me mom, but I'm here?" I hope so. I BELIEVE so.
Has anyone had dreams about a lost loved one that seemed REAL? I especially want to know dreams about Melissa.
I'm sure you all think I've gone a little batty...just need some Fort stories right now. I'll take ANY interesting dreams right now...
Fort was always interested in her dreams too - always analyzed her dreams. She would get online to find out what they meant. One dream in particular she was swimming and sharks were circling her, but she said "I wasn't afraid mom". This was just a few months before she passed away. I don't know if she posted about it, but I'm sure I got it in an email from her. If I can find it, I'll post it later.
Enjoy the holidays. And the snow if you get it...we are.
(**NOTE- If you don't want to respond about dreams here, you can email me at

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

From the Fort's - Enjoy your families - eat what you want,
take lots of pictures and HUGS HUGS HUGS to everyone.
We love you all.
Pam~Donny~Nick~Mere~Drew & Max

AND Happy 35th JMAC!
We love you!

Monday, November 2, 2009


If you are on this blog to read about Fort, in HER words...go to the blog archive on the right side of this page - her last post was Christmas Eve 2008. You can start there - kind of have to work your way backwards. What I have to say is NOTHING compared to what she had to say. What I write is all about HER. And FOR her. But you want to read HER. I don't know where she got her writing talent, but it sure wasn't from me. Thank you for visiting her blog. I hope you keep reading until you've read it all. I KNOW you'll be inspired, and you'll LAUGH out loud, a lot. This blog WILL be published some day. I promise you that.
Fort's mom

Here's to YOU Fort...3 days - 60 miles!!!

Our journey began around 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 22.
Originally we were both going to work a half day, until I found out I had to be in Atlanta at 4:00 on Thursday. Thus the early departure...we were on the road about an hour - right about the Sharonville exit - had a blowout. (Fort would have taken a picture of the shredded tire, and of the tire being changed...but it was WAY too early for me - I hadn't even had a cup of coffee yet! In fact, I was sleeping when Donny said "Is that OUR car????"...he was asking about the "thump, thump, thump, thump..." It was. I knew John was already at work, so we called him, he found a place within a couple of miles from where we were - we had the new tire put on and were back on the road by 7:30. And made it to Atlanta with a few minutes to spare!

Melissa (Fort) would let me know RIGHT AWAY that she was going to be there with us.
We were waiting with the other flag bearers for the practice to begin. I got up to go to the car for something and they were doing a sound check on the stage. Of the thousands of songs they could have chosen, they chose the Cold Play
song (Viva La Vida(?)
For those of you who don't know - that song was on a CD that a nurse from the hospital made for Melissa last year around this time (when Fort was in the hospital). We both liked the song, and while SHE probably knew who the artist was and what the song was, I DIDN'T. After she passed away, I started hearing that song whenever I really needed her. SO...of course when THAT was the song the began BLARING from the speakers - I KNEW she was there. She always lets me know. (at the end of the pictures - I have ANOTHER story of her letting me know she was there-just the other day...) And that began the incredible adventure of the 3 day in Atlanta. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

I had the priviledge of being one of the Honor Flag Bearers. I was to carry the
banner "MY DAUGHTER" in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies! This was at the practice the day before the walk started.

After the practice for the Opening Ceremonies, Donny & I checked into the hotel. John & Diana were already there. They had made reservations for dinner at the Macaroni Grill across the street, so we joined them. This was the second time in about 2 hours that Melissa let me know she was there with us...our waitress was Melissa! (she even had that CREATIVE handwriting like OUR Melissa!)

FORT'S YAYAS for TATAS leaving the comfort of the hotel for...who knows what kind of adventure! And an adventure it proved to be...

One of my first friends, Carol. She was an Honor Flag Bearer also. She carried the flag "MY HUSBAND"...which wasn't true in the Opening Ceremonies. He wasn't her husband until she crossed the finish line - he was waiting with a Judge, and they got married when she finished! (Not sure, but he might have walked too).

Less than a mile into the walk and Sharon tries to convince me to "hop on a sailboat"...but I won't do it...so she decides to stay on the walk with me...THANKS Sharon!

Donny greets me & Sharon at the first cheering station...THANKS for being there Donny!

GREETERS...from the United Nations???? AWESOME!

FORT'S YAYAS for TATAS ALL complete the first 20 miles!

20 miles down, 40 to go...and STILL smiling!

Sharon & Karyn make themselves at home after 20 miles of walking...


Getting ready for DAY 2...I'm SURE we're talking about how our training will help us get going on day 2...NOT. John is the only one on our team that really "TRAINED". It was obvious - we couldn't keep up with him. We had to keep reminding him that "this isn't a RACE, John." He didn't listen. He WON every day. Way to go John!

ANOTHER motivational poster along the way...(is he (I mean SHE) losing a boob there?)

Karyn's best friend, Melissa Bacon, comes from Dayton, OH to surprise us at a cheering station! THANKS Melissa!

STRETCH it Sharon...and get your shoes on...we gotta get a move on!

Halloween in reverse...the KIDS are giving out the candy!

I LOVE this woman...THANK YOU Diana for not selling our bed to the highest bidder! (I know you could have sold it MANY times before we came in...thanks for protecting it!)

Volunteer Nurse Lois takes a look at my blisters at then end of Day 2 - she wouldn't touch them - said I did a "GREAT"job bandaging my toes! They all came off in the shower and had to redo them later that night for Day 3.

I TOLD you you'd be on the blog Jill!

40 miles down, 20 to go....(and STILL smiling!)

Finally...a REAL bed! (the first night, I had a 1/4" thick pad to sleep on...on top of concrete...might as well had NOTHING under me - I tossed and turned (as much as you can toss and turn in a 2 man pup tent) until Mandi offered me HER 2" thick pad to sleep on-THANKS MANDI!-the next morning, I called Donny and pretty much begged him to buy us a mattress...for ONE night. He did. He's WONDERFUL.

A sea of pink...imagine trying to find YOUR tent - I got lost one time, actually got a little nervous!

Tent City - 1000 2 man pink pup tents in the Atlanta Trade Center


Our "across the street" neighbors in tent city - KRISTA'S MINGOS - Becky, Erin, Rose and Bobbie. (Thanks for helping us with our tent on Sunday Becky & Bobbie!)

Day 3 - John left AN HOUR after we did - snuck up on us and PASSED US. He finished about an hour before we did. (all that training paid off...except IT WASN'T A RACE JOHN....You were AWESOME!)

Downtown Atlanta Cheering Station - Donny & Diana are on the corner by the crosswalk-I took the picture and didn't even know they were there - almost passed them by and didn't see them! This cheering station was over two blocks long on both sides of the sidewalk - just the motivation we needed to get those last miles in!

This Hospice Nurse is "Walking to Lose her job!"

Pam and an emotional Suzanne (a neighbor from tent city)at Turner Field.

Karyn & Mandi go through "the gauntlet" as Donny calls it - 60 miles, lots of blisters, 3 stress fractures and SMILES on their faces!

FORT'S YAYAS for TATAS make it 60 miles to Turner Field!!!!

Closing ceremonies...my flag is second from right.

3 days. 60 miles. It was incredible, and talking about doing it again ALREADY seems, well, crazy. But we are talking about doing it again next year. I do it for
Melissa, and will continue to do EVERYTHING I can to help raise $$ to find a cure for this horrific disease. I walk for you, your daughters, your friends, your mothers, your sons and your husbands. I am so glad I got to experience it with Melissa too. I know she was with us the entire 60 miles - a little easier on her this time! Love you pretty girl...thank you for being there!

**Okay...the OTHER story. I had a mammogram scheduled for the day after we got home.
Right before the radiologist was about to do the mammogram, she was looking at my chart and started asking about family history, when she said "Oh, you have a daughter with breast cancer?" I replied "NO. My daughter died of breast cancer in January." When she did the mammogram, she noticed some calcifications that weren't there in my last mammogram. She took more pictures, and sent it on STAT. I heard from the doctor the next day that I needed to have a biopsy. SO...Donny took a half day to take me. When we got in the car to go, we turned on the radio, and guess what song started playing? Cold Play. Viva La Vida. She was with me THAT day too.
OH. Got the results today. NEGATIVE. GREAT news. GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS GIRLS....
it's VERY important to catch this early.

Are you there FORT?????

I think she is. I spent THREE HOURS last night posting pics of the 3 day walk in Atlanta. When I first got started, the screen flickered a little...and when I finished, I SAVED everything. But when I went to preview what I had posted, it wasn't there. I think FORT was telling me I went a little overboard. I'll try again later - and not post as much. Maybe she really DOESN'T want me on here.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Firebirds for Fort FUNdraiser

Just a preview of the pics from the fundraiser...I'll try to post a few more later, then pics from the 3 day walk in Atlanta.

AND THE WINNER OF THE QUILT IS...(drawn by Ruth, breast cancer survivor, neighbor and friend of Pam's)................

TRACY (good friend of Melissa's)

and THANKS to our FANTASTIC DJ Mark!

MM family

Thanks Heather for your contribution to the 3day walk from Solar Tan!!!

Franz Fam

Food (dessert) of course!

Angie selling raffle tickets....

Netti LOVES her FORT shirt!

Cary, Pam, Jen (Security!)

Karyn working the crowd

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 days...60 miles...WE DID IT!

Two years ago this month, Melissa called me TWO days before the 3 day breast cancer walk she was doing in Atlanta. I was driving her to Atlanta and staying in a hotel for the weekend while she walked with her friend from college, Shannon, and Shannon's sister Julie. She was very excited, and informed me that the rugby team raised enough money that I could do the walk with her...60 miles...in...THREE days.
I tried to talk my way out of it, but to no avail. If she could do it (on chemo)... I could do it. So I did. We did.
It was THE most incredible experience of my life. Something I NEVER thought I could do. But WE did. The ENTIRE 60 miles, we walked. We had fun. We laughed. I have three days of WONDERFUL memories.
And I did it again. This time FOR Melissa. Our team was FORT'S YAYAS for TATAS.
We shared Melissa's story, made a lot of new friends, and AGAIN I was amazed at the energy, the LOVE, the incredible people that volunteered their time for this fabulous event. I KNOW Melissa was with us - we all (Sharon, Karyn & Mandi & John) made it to the finish line at Turner Field...with just a few blisters (and a few stress fractures) - but we made it. And ALL smiling at the end.

To all of our new Atlanta friends - THANK YOU for your HUGS, your love, your compassion and for listening to my story. I can't talk about Melissa enough. And now you can meet her yourself. Thank you for reading her story.

I'll be posting pics of the 3day AND the fundraiser sometime later this week...
stay tuned.

Monday, October 19, 2009


To EVERYONE who contributed in ANY way- it was an event that Melissa would have LOVED. I'm thinking we were NOT QUITE at 500 (maybe 499????) - in any event the hall was PACKED. Thank you to those of you who contributed SILENT AUCTION items, Raffle items, door prizes, PRINTING, the HALL, the DJ, the tons and tons of delicious FOOD....and
very important to the success - those of you who attended! It was incredible.

We raised over $20,000 - with more to come. There are some NASCAR items on ebay, so if you are a NASCAR fan, check them out (nose cone of Danica Patrick's car for one)- and rugby friend "Jen" (no last names, I remember AGAIN fort) is running the Breast Cancer Marathon and will be contributing to the Scholarship fund also.

I wish we could thank each of you personally. You have NO IDEA what this means to our family - me, Donny, John, Nick, Mere, Drew Max AND Angie. It was a labor of love - and will benefit a LOT of Fairmont students in the years to come! She would LOVE that.
(will post pictures later).


"Well, Ill be honest. When I was growing up, I never imagined this was where I would spend my child's fifth birthday."

This was Melissa's quote from October 19, 2008. Today, October 19, 2009, Melissa is celebrating WITH JP for the first time. He would have been 6 today.
Happy Birthday JP - Grandma & Grandpa love you and miss you...we're getting together
with you dad, your uncle Nick aunt Mere & your cousins Drew & Max.
We love you and miss you both.

Monday, October 12, 2009

FORT...in HER words

About a month ago I promised to post some of Melissa's quotes from when she
was in the hospital - all funny, of course. But I just found this - she wrote
it sometime last year (because she mentions being 30). This will be the
beginning of the book-whenever I get to it.
If you don't know Fort, or have only known her as an adult - (I guess you could
call her that - she was a kid at heart ALWAYS)....this gives you some insight into
her "formative" years, and I guess explains why she is what she is....(or was what
she was).


Im doing it again. Going back as far into my memory banks as I possibly can, to dissect every awful thing I have ever done, ever said. When horrible things happen to people, or at least when they happen to me, I sit back and try to figure exactly which moment did it. Where did we go wrong?

My earliest childhood memory of being an asshole, was in kindergarten. There was a boy in my class, and he was poor. Or at least he looked poor. And I decided that I didn’t like him. Im thirty years old and I still feel awful about it. Ive never had much of a spine when it comes to social or professional confrontation, and sometimes I wonder if its from the conditioning I got in the form of a verbal smack-down from Mrs. McVey when I decided to “go off” on this poor kid. By “going off”, I really have no idea what I said.

As an adult, I get so wound up and guilty about it, I start to imagine that I, as a five year old, stood up on my chair and read off a laundry list of the reasons why poor people would have such a hard time succeeding in this world. “Your mother is uneducated and doesn’t bathe you regularly, which will enevitably lead to your growing self-esteem issues, a future drug problems, professional struggles. Your abusive father is teaching you that love is dispersed by cigarette burns and slaps upside the head, which you will undoubtedly pass on to your own children.”

No joke. This is how I imagine it, and it makes me feel like shit. In reality, I was probably just being a brat. How much does a five year old know anyway? Maybe I just told him I wasn’t going to share my crayons. Or maybe I really did get nasty and say, “I don’t like you.” I have a hard time imagining a five-year old spouting off the hate my guilty conscience likes to try and convince me I was capable of, but for some reason, that event stays with me. Perhaps it was the memory of turning around and seeing Mrs. McVey looking down with a disappointed look. Ive been uncomfortable “going off” on anyone since.

I pretty much played it straight through elementary school if you don’t count the endless torment on my younger brother. But I don’t feel as guilty about that one. Once Nick hit puberty, his retaliation was swift and violent, and when what used to be a simple battle over a remote control landed my ass getting drug into the front yard by my hair, still clutching those remote controls, I realized my reign of terror was now over.

I then found new ways to torment my brother. He may have been strong, but he was (and still is) more emotional than most pre-menstrual women. A friend once

Road Trip

Its definitely one of the top five meanest things Ive ever done to somebody. And Im pretty sure I regret undoing it, because sometimes squeezing a bakery grade donut jelly filling into someone’s nasty work shoes can be the perfect justice.

I began my tenure at Stan the Donut Man at the tender age of fourteen. I had successfully opened up plenty of free time at the end of my 7th grade year by offering myself up to the social guillotine and cutting my own hair so super short that the “cute wedge” I was going for actually ended up sloping off my neck at a ninety degree angle where it met a wavy plateau of hair on top, much resembling a Tour de France helmet.

I specifically remember the one adult who “Oooh-ed” and “Ahhh-ed” over it. She was the girlfriend of one of my dads softball teammates, and looking back on it, Im pretty sure she was drunk. Everybody knew it looked awful, but I managed to keep a steady brood of friends around, and things weren’t so awful.

That was before my hairdo inspired one of the 8th grade football players in French class to christen it “The Millenium Falcon”, one of films greatest spaceships. To be truthful, I was actually relieved. “Millenium Falcon” sounded so much better than “Spaceship Head”, and as someone who always appreciated a good moniker, I secretly applauded the sharper of the two athletes who finally blurted it out after the other couldn’t get more creative than “Spaceship Head”. Even as the target of ridicule, I tried to embrace it. After all, it was my mistake, and crawling in a hole wasn’t going to make the situation any better.

By my freshman year, the nickname had evolved, as all nicknames do, to simply, “Falcon”, and when I made the freshman softball team and it was time to decide what would go on the back of my jersey, the decision was clear. Oh yeah, and I sucked at softball. Still do.

So there I was. Fourteen, with a severely pathetic social life and a weekend gig at the Donut shop down the road. I worked one weekend and quickly turned around and left Ohio with my family on a three-week cross-country road trip to California.

The Donut Man’s menu was daunting. Forty cents for yeast donuts…..Forty-five for filled….donut holes were ten cents…..a dozen donuts with no filled was two-seventy-five, but if you had a filled donut in the mix it was three-fifteen….specialty danishes (Apple Fritters, Davey Crocketts & Bow Ties) were fifty-five cents and so on. I sat at the counter and diligently wrote down all prices and took it with me on my vacation and would pull it study it. I wasn’t going to fuck this up. No way.

The three-week road trip with my parents and brother Nick, who was entering the 7th grade, took the counter-clockwise route northwest. Mt. Rushmore, The Badlands and Bear Country USA seemed to occur in the beginning.

Mt Rushmore was one of the first stops. We all think of that maintenance guy rapelling down the nose of George Washington and you think Mt. Rushmore is going to block out the sun when you arrive. But the observation deck is far from the actual side of the carved mountain, and it just seemed a bit smaller than I expected. Each night they light up the side of the mountain and play “America the Beautiful”….or maybe it’s the National Anthem. I cant even remember.

I do recall camping out while we were visiting Mt. Rushmore, and I also remember my mother coming down with some sort of stomach cramp so bad that dad had to take her to a hospital. Nick and I stayed at the campsite. While I don’t remember specifically, it’s a safe bet that Nick was playing GameBoy and I was making friendship bracelets. I don’t know why we didn’t go in support of our mother. The obvious answer is that while we were generally labeled as “Good Kids”, we were in junior high, and even “Good Kids” in junior high are usually selfish, insensitive assholes.

As a grown up insensitive asshole, I still can’t even recall what was wrong with her or how she got better in a day. My father had spent an entire year planning this three week trip, so perhaps it was the threat of being left in South Dakota.

Mom came back to the campsite after a trip to the local hospital that was manned by one nurse and a baby in the nursery. Had to call the doctor in.

The next day was Bear Country USA, one of the sleeper hits of the entire trip. We slowly rode through the park in our standard issue light blue Dodge Caravan, heads on swivels, enjoying nature the way God had intended, behind barbed wire. Of the fifty plus hours of footage from this trip, Bear Country USA steals the show.

Upon a large rock sat a huge bear who had a Jabba the Hut quality about him. Eyes closed, he batted flies from his face with his tounge, opening his mouth like a puppet. My brother wasted no time inserting words into the bears mouth, and we all giggled like school girls at my brothers complete comedic ingenuity. He spoke with the deep voice that king Jabba-bear would have. The video is priceless, or it was priceless. I don’t know how funny it would be today. My standards have improved considerably since then.

But make no bones about it, Nick’s remote ventriloquist act with a captive bear didn’t hold a candle to what lie around the corner.

Its best told from the Sony camcorders perspective. Footage is rolling, mom is at the helm ensuring the trips soundtrack is a constant rotation of Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross.

Suddenly, from the back, you hear my discovery verbalized in a chorus of “OhmyGods”.

“OhhhhMiGod, Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God.”

If memory serves, you hear my mom let out a belly laugh before the camera quickly turns to the woods, and focuses in a big bear mounting a much smaller bear not to far off into the woods.

Interestingly, none of us wanted to stop watching. While I never remember having an actual “Sex Talk” with mom or dad, I like to think of this moment as our unintended family Sex Talk. While our parents didn’t go into specifics, they blurted out one-liners that I like to think was there way of teaching us the finer points of the birds and the bees.

Out of my fathers mouth, right out of the gate, “We could probably take this home and sell it to some sickos!”

LESSON LEARNED: Sex footage of any kind, even bear sex, can be used to make a profit.

Mom didn’t hold back either. “She’s probably sayin’, GET OFFA ME!”

LESSON LEARNED: Women don’t like sex. Or maybe, women don’t like “Doggy-Style” sex. (Is it even called “Doggy-Style” if bears are doing it? These lessons weren’t going well)

Dad then adds, “Beige, I think Ill paint the ceiling beige.”

LESSON LEARNED: Even as a soon to be 9th grader, I could imply this meant that women were bored with having sex with men.

My mother laughed, and I began to think that this was a quote from a movie I had never seen. Dare I ask? I probably wouldn’t get a straight answer anyway. My childhood was a fog of taping movies on television and watching them over and over and over again. Goonies, Flight of the Navigator, and Bachelor Party easily take the top three prizes for most overplayed movies in our household.

Of course our version of Bachelor Party was the vanilla cable version, soaped up, sex and curse-free. We were, however, lucky enough to watch some of the “adult situations” that left me scratching my head.

Even if you don’t know what a “Cleveland Steamer” or a “Dirty Sanchez” is, most people know not to ask a parental figure what they are. You just know its not something appropriate. But what if you don’t know a word is inappropriate? For me, that word was “porno”.

In a scene in the Bachelor Party, the wives and girlfriends of the men who are planning the bachelor party, sabotage the “pornos in Rick’s trunk” by taking them and splicing out all of the “good stuff”. I didn’t know what a porno was, so of course, I didn’t know what the “good stuff” they were cutting out of it.

It seemed innocent enough. I was a curious 4th grader. I approached my mother in hopes of solving this mystery.

“Mom? What’s a porno?”

Pam looked down at me, pensive. This was going to be good. She couldn’t deny me this information. After all, I was the pre-schooler who told announced to my class that my “Dad takes pictures of my mom with no clothes on”. She certainly would benefit by having a well-informed child.

She cocked her head and squinched her eye, confused.

“You know? I don’t really know.”

And I believed her. I was still pretty confused, because my mother was a smart lady, and it didn’t make sense to me that something talked about so casually on a blockbuster movie was so clearly a mystery to her, but I left it at that.

So there we were, bonding as a family, videotaping animal porn and learning some of life’s most important lessons.

Way to go DANNY!!!

Yep...the DANNY FORTENER that intercepted an Illini pass for a touchdown for Michigan State is Fort's cousin...found this article - I KNOW she would be posting this!

Danny Fortener returns to Spartans' starting lineup, takes interception back for touchdown
By Steve Grinczel
October 10, 2009, 8:30PM
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- There is no better living example of fortitude on the Michigan State football team than Danny Fortener.

Throughout his career, Fortener has been the defensive back who gets results more on savvy and guile than on talent and ability. He started nine of 13 games last season as a junior and the first two games of this season.

Then, sophomore Trenton Robinson moved ahead of Fortener in practice and won the starting free safety position against Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Fortener didn’t waiver, however, and when the game against the Wolverines went into overtime, he made the critical deflection of Tate Forcier’s pass into the end zone, which cornerback Chris L. Rucker intercepted. Three plays later, MSU freshman running back Larry Caper scored the game-winning touchdown.

Fortener was back in the starting lineup for Saturday’s 24-14 victory against Illinois in Memorial Stadium.

On the first possession in the second half, Fortener intercepted Eddie McGee’s pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown to secure 24-0 lead.

“They’ve been throwing that same route a lot and I made a good break on the ball,” Fortener said. “He kind of lofted it up to where I could just jump up and get it.

“I knew I was gone. I didn’t see anyone near me and wanted to get to the end zone as fast as I could to celebrate with my teammates.”

The interception was Fortener’s first of the season, third of his career and first for a touchdown.

“It was one of the big plays of the game,” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said.
Fortener wasn’t discouraged after his situation changed so dramatically earlier in the season.

“It’s been up and down, but you have to have a team mentality,” he said. “I’ve just got to keep my head up and when the other guy goes in, you just have to root him on because we’re still Michigan State.

“What I’ve been doing is just work extra hard to make my way back.”

Spartans forces sixth turnover
Fortener’s interception was MSU’s only takeaway of the game and only the sixth of the season. The Spartans started the game with the fewest takeaways in the Big Ten and were 10th in turnover margin at minus-0.8.

“Anytime you get an interception for a touchdown, it gets addicting because then somebody else wants one,” MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said. “It just comes down to making plays. (Fortener) is a good football player.”

Racking up the yards
Michigan State rushed for 193 yards against the Illini a week after gaining 197 against Michigan for its best back-to-back rushing performances since rushing for 238 against Eastern Michigan, 259 against Florida Atlantic, 203 against Notre Dame and 189 against Indiana in game Nos. 2-5 last season.

Tackle leaders
The Spartans’ six quarterback sacks gave them a two-game total of 10. Middle linebacker Greg Jones led MSU with 11 tackles, including one sack, and Fortener had 11 tackles.

Friday, October 9, 2009

FUNdraiser News!

Any NASCAR fans out there? If you're coming to the fundraiser - you'll love this!
There will be FOUR NASCAR hats, each signed by Mark Martin, Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhart Jr & Jeff Gordon - for the Silent Auction!
Also - Bengals fans - we have two sets of tickets - one set includes a Tailgate package. We also have UC Football tickets and basketball tickets.
Are you a Danica Patrick fan? We have a bumper(or fender...some part of one of her cars) with her name (I haven't seen it yet - don't know if it's an autograph or just her name) - might be nice for a Bar&Grill or Restaurant that features NASCAR/racing items if you know anyone that might be interested -let them know!

Thank you all for your support and contributions to this event. I KNOW Melissa would be thrilled and impressed with what's been accomplished so far. Won't be the same without her laughter, but I know she'll be there in spirit.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


(I was going to post the photos yesterday. When I got up, went to get a pair of socks, opened the drawer and it was full. I NEVER had socks. Fort always borrowed my socks,
so the last time I went to get a pair(last fall) I didn't have the color I needed. Now I do. Made me SO sad...so went my Monday - no post...sorry to those I promised to get them out yesterday).

Some day I will learn how to put a caption under a picture...(Fort would never let me "help" her with a post (I CAN DO IT MYSELF!), so I don't know how to do that yet!)

the photos...

Mr. & Mrs. KJ & WATTS (aka Mr. & Mrs. P...no last names, I remembered, Fort...)

the "line out" for the bouquet...only at a RUGBY reception

Lola & Pam (check out the November 08 post - there's a photo of Fort with Lola!)

The scrapbookers (Stacy & Alyssa) with Pam

The bouquet - KJ had a string of beads on her bouquet - every other bead
was pink - made of rose petals from roses from Fort's funeral...)

More ruggers.....