Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The mother of a friend passed away suddenly last week. Without warning, she was just gone. Young, beautiful and healthy, she was a wife, sister, friend, mother, grandmother. Gone.

I seriously can not imagine.

At all!

Joe and I went to her memorial service tonight and we were blown away by how beautiful it was. I’ve known my friend since grade school and did lose touch for awhile, so there are countless memories of her and her mother that I am completely unaware of. But I can tell you now that one of my memories of her is that she was so incredibly loved. You should have seen all the people there to celebrate her life! It was amazing. And another memory is that she created one of the most awesome families on the planet. Listening to the words of her loved ones tonight, I am saddened that I don't have more memories of her than I do.

And my heart breaks for those she left behind, for the memories that will take place without her, for the grandchildren she will never see grow up into beautiful adults. But it is clear how rich and full her life has been and it is evident that her presence still shines in all of them...and always will.

God's plan (or whomever your "higher power" may be) is always a mystery. Always. And a sudden event like this reminds me how important...how FRAGILE, but also how IMPORTANT life is. And it reminds me that we should always make known to our friends, family, and loved ones how much we care for them and love them. Cherish every single moment and every single memory that you have...for you never know when that next hug or that next smile or that next shared laugh will be your last.

I send my continued thoughts, love and prayers to my friend and her family during this time. And I send my love and peace to you all...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the elephants have come and gone

The fact that our last blog entry was 4 months ago is abominable. My entry about The Cove yesterday doesn't count because it was my attempt at a PSA. So I count the last true McGresa blog entry as June 23rd. Really? It's October people!! What in the name of all that is holy have we been doing since then?


I remember talking about the elephants walking down the street in downtown Phoenix. That means our circus adventure has come and gone and obviously those elephants are long gone as well. But they were so cute. The circus was actually super entertaining altogether and I'm really glad that we all went. I really like the elephants, but the tigers were actually pretty amazing, too, because there was a big circular cage with one man and nine tigers. Yep...you saw that right. NINE tigers. ONE man. That guy has some major cojones, I'll tell you that much! I think my favorite part of the circus, though, was the motorcycle cage ball thingiedoo. There was one point when the cage had 7 bikes riding around and around. Utterly amazing. So, just as a quick summary - the circus was AWESOME!

Also...remember me talking about those pounds I lost? Yeah. Definitely gained some of them back. Not all of them. Not even half of them. But definitely a few. So my goal of losing 50 pounds in one year was not reached. Oh well...the fight goes on, right?

I also remember talking about my jury duty experience a little bit, too. Well, I was NOT picked as I mentioned before and the trial was the State of Arizona against a young man accused of child abuse and the first degree murder of a 13-month old child. Apparently, from what I gather of the story, he and his girlfriend had a child together. Then they split up at some point and the girl got pregnant again by another man. Then the young man got back together with this girl and now they were taking care of both his child and the other man's child. Confused? Yeah. Well, anyway. He was accused of allegedly killing the child that was NOT his biological child but the 6-week-or-so-long trial ended up being declared a mistrial because the jury could not come to a unanimous verdict. In this case, preparations for a second trial were discussed but the young man ended up pleading guilty to manslaughter and will be sentenced at the end of this month. But manslaughter? That's it? Ugh.

In case you are curious about some of the case details, you can find more information here and here. In case you are not curious in the slightest, please press onward...

In addition to that, to name a few things that have happened since June:
  1. we saw the Twilight Saga's Eclipse and Joe loved it
  2. we went camping on Mingus Mountain
  3. we went camping on Mount Lemmon
  4. we babysat Lucy's boyfriend, Yuma
  5. Joe took his FIRST trip to California!
  6. we went camping on Mingus Mountain a second time and literally within 20 minutes of starting to set up camp Lucy had already dug up a squeaky ball she buried when we camped there 2 months earlier
  7. Theresa sang in the wedding of a lifelong friend and biffed up one of the songs that had a Spanish verse (which really isn't the WORST thing in the world except for the fact that 90% of the people at the wedding spoke Spanish!)
  8. Theresa celebrated her 2 year anniversary with University of Phoenix
  9. Joe celebrated his 3 year anniversary with Powill Mfg & Eng
  10. Joe ALSO celebrated his 2 year anniversary of having a new kidney (WOO HOO!!!)
  11. Lucy celebrated her 3rd birthday (crazy!!)
  12. we started preparing and planning to build a teardrop trailer...and we can't WAIT until we are able to camp in it!!

More things have happened since June, but that's all that comes to mind right now because we have to get going and take Lucy to the park for a play date with her boyfriend. Hope you enjoyed the quick recap of our crazy past 4 months. Hope you all are well.

T and Joe and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Fur

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the cove

Last night, I made the mistake of watching "The Cove", the 2009 Oscar winning documentary. I take that back, though. I definitely wouldn't call it a "mistake" that I watched this because, while hard to process at times, it actually told a story with a rather important message, a message about taking a stand for the preservation of the beauty and sanctity of life.

(taken from The Cove website):
"Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary of 2009, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action. THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann."

Dolphins and porpoises, though? Yeah...I honestly never even thought of them much before. But watching this, and seeing footage and reading about the slaughter of these animals, my stomach turns just thinking about it. But look how far away from Japan I am! What can I do? Donate? Protest? Spread the word? Sign the petition? And...does it really matter?

I really think it does.

"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth." — Henry Beston

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