Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hello Again

Dear Joe,

I'm glad your birthday was a good one!
Keep healing and shining.

carol and bella

Monday, August 17, 2009

Go Joe, Go!

Dear Joe,

I looked at your blog while I was in Colombia at an internet cafe and read about your power chair. That's great! I could read, but not send anything or post because the system would hang up forever.

I got to attend the 22nd annual festival of the book in Bogota. Bella stayed with the Burns'. I'll be looking forward to catching up with you over the weekend.

Love and Big, Big Hugs,

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dear Joe,

I hope it was an excellent day for you. I trust the remodelers are doing everything just so. Just so it is perfect for you!

Shasta's a great dog and a good companion. Bella gets her hair cut Thursday so she'll have it easier doing her morning walk...and less brushing.

Our county is talking about employee furloughs! Maybe they'll decide while I'm in South America and I'll miss the the blow on the chin.

You're in my thoughts and heart,
love, carol and bella

Monday, July 27, 2009


Dear Joe,

I'm sorry I missed talking to you on Saturday evening. I'm glad to see the photos of your A team and I know you must still be thrilled to be home. I hope starting the next round of therapy goes well and that improvements continue. Keep up the excellent work and know that I am thinking of you and rooting for you!

carol and bella

Thursday, July 16, 2009

cycle news

Dear Joe,

I'm sending my love and gratitude for all the advancements that are coming your way as you exercise. I think of you everyday.

My nephew, Samson McHugh, is now rated #10 in Pennsylvania for CRIT. I have no idea what that means in cyclespeak but it sounds good. He's spending the summer riding before starting his internship mid-August, then it's senior year.

carol and bella

Friday, July 10, 2009


Dear Joe,

I hope you are enjoying being home!

Sending love and happiness,
carol and bella

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Dear Joe,

I wish you a great sweet night's sleep tonight knowing that you're going home tomorrow.

Love and bushels of hugs,
carol and bella

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Dear Joe,

Every day is one day closer to going home. I know it won't come soon enough. It's good to hear that all the plans for the transition are falling into place.

It was really a joy to hear your voice, strong and clear.

My nephew, Samson, just needs five more credits to go on a bike tour called the Valley in Ohio. So here's hoping.

Back to reference questions for me...

Love and BIG hugs,
carol and bella

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Dear Joe,

I'm thrilled to read that you will be going home soon! You must be happy to be at the stage where you'll be enjoying home, Sasha, and your spectacular view.

I'm getting a 3 day weekend starting at 5:00 p.m. today, so I intend to make the best use of my time. One thing on my list is to spray the poision ivy. So far, I've not gotten a full out allergy this year and I'd like to keep it that way. I usually get it from Bella. I'll let you know what else I do when I'm back to internet access.

Love and hugs,
carol and bella

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dear Joe,

It looks like it was a busy weekend for you from the photos that were posted. I spoke with Bob yesterday and he updated me on all the advances you have been making. Good going!

Life is quiet on my end.

I'm thinking about you!
love and more love,
carol and bella

Friday, June 26, 2009


Dear Joe,

I love the photo! Strikingly handsome as ever.

I just got a new camera but have yet to learn how to put in the memory chip. Once I do, I'll send photos of Bella and I.

I'm glad to know you are continuing to improve. Doing exercises is nothing new for you and I know you will be faithful to do the reps.

You continue in my thoughts and prayers.

carol and bella

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Buds, Tastebuds

Dear Joe,

Along with the good news of the trach healing, the song going through my head is from Oliver, "Food, Glorious Food." I hope that replenishing and enjoying your tastebuds again is a sweet success!

Speaking of food, last night some coworkers (good buds), and I went out for dinner and laughed till our faces hurt. Lots of good things happen over food. I hope and pray the same for you!

carol and bella

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dear Joe,

Samson won first place MAR and fourth overall in a race over the weekend in Pittsburgh. He races sometimes at the Washington Boulevard Cycling Track, a half-mile oval loop along Washington Boulevard, is a one-of-a-kind attraction, drawing elite cyclists and beginners to its banked corners and slight hill. Formerly a drivers’ training course, the facility accommodates track and criterium racing and time trials. The track’s flat interior surface is the perfect place for kids to learn to inline skate or ride bikes or scooters.

more later,
love carol and bella

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Greetings from Librarylandia

Dear Joe,

I hope you are healing well and quick. I hope your new staff is friendly and that you're adjusting to the changes there. Bob says you can swallow some soft foods now and eating must be a more satisfying experience these days. It was great to see the photos that Sandy has posted!

Here is the best library reference question I received today: Is the book I wrote checked out?
She went on to say: I haven't seen it for a few weeks and I wanted to know if it is missing or did someone have it?

Back to the desk!
Love and hugs,
carol and bella <3

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Dear Joe,

Well, the children who come to the library are in test week. So, there is high anxiety, and as a remedy, being silly. In closing up last night I found a sample algebra test on top of two NFL Sports books. We take a break from the tedium in whatever way we can I suppose. I hope visits from friends do that for you. I know your days are filled with therapy appointments and exercise, so enjoy your breaks.

Love and big hugs, carol and bella

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear Joe,

It sounds like your days have been busy and in high gear with therapy for everything. Also, it is all leading toward getting you ready to go home. Reaching that goal is soon to be! Keep up all the hard work and know that I'm sending you prayers and thoughts for success.

love and hugs,
carol and bella

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturation Point

Dear Joe,

It's been a harrowing few days here with the rain deluges and the ground at the saturation point. Twice in the past week the rain was 3-6" from my livingroom windows...the floor to ceiling windows. Thursday evening I spent two hours in the rain digging out the swale behind the patio wall. Sheesh. After calling the county and digging, I showered, took Aleve for my back, believing I'd done all I could do, and rested. Yesterday, the rain didn't flood the house! After reading Sandy's post yesterday, it sounded like she reached her saturation point. So, I tell my rain saga to say: rest.

love bella and carol

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Dear Joe,

Isn't much of life about adjustments? Things are always changing and we are too. We are either responding or initiating. One thing stays the same though, love. For those who truly, deeply love you, we cannot turn it off like a light switch. It's always on! It's staying on! That you can count on!

sending love and hugs,
carol and bella

Friday, May 29, 2009


Dear Joe,

I looked up what the pacemaker does. According to Medline it stimulates and steadies the heartbeat. What a good thing to have. As in life, we get to dry and weary places and sometimes there are people who inspire us, stimulate us, and steady us. You are surrounded by people at the keep you steady.

We love you,
carol and bella

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unexpected fun

Dear Joe,

I am happy you are gaining strength and endurance. I hope having family visiting supplied more fortitude. I am praying for your heart to function as designed.

Driving to work, I saw semi-truck driver making a wild left turn while putting his tee shirt over his head. Just after I made the turn, I had to give wide berth for a mama duck and her goslings. What a disparity of visions! Both unexpected.

I wish for you unexpected fun today.

Love carol and bella

Friday, May 22, 2009


Dear Joey,

Here I am at the library on my day off...why would I do that? To say hello and let you know I am thinking of you. I'm glad to know you are having company this weekend. I am hoping that it will bring you joy. It's great that you are off the respirator more than on! And, talking more than not! I am praying for more of everything that is good for you. More healing, more strength, more joy, more, more, more...

more love, carol and bella
I'll be off line till Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Dear Joey,

I have to confess I am one of those people who can't remember where her phone is and when I find it, it needs to be recharged. I'm sorry I missed your call but happy to have your message saved so I can listen to it for two weeks.
I loved hearing your voice!!! So, you'll be closer to the gym and moving ahead. My prayer is that the next set of staff on your new floor will be inspired to do their best for you in all that they do; that you will receive excellent attention; that things will be done for you before you even have a chance to ask.

love always, carol and bella
the finedogs

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gym Dandy!

Dear Joey,

I read you've been to the gym and are getting exercise and therapy. All progress, of any measured size, is beneficial and encouraging. I pray for you to advance forward, just forward.

love carol and bella

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Dear Joey,

My other nephew raced last night and he came in 9th place, as he said: Finally breaking the single digits. You can check him out on Facebook: Nemo McHugh.

His brother, who rides for Pitt, is Samson McHugh:
He will be cycling this summer, then doing a 3 week Leadership training at Deloitte.

love and hugs, carol and bella

back to you

Dear Joey,

I am just back from visiting my Mom for a looooonng weekend so I could spend Mother's Day with her. She's doing well. My nephew is still racing with the Pitt Panthers Cycling Team. Last Friday when I saw him he had just come home from a 50 mile ride where he did no drafting, it was 100% at pace with the guy he rode with. He's looking lean and mean.

It's great to see the progress you're making in all areas. You are in my prayers, my Mom's, and all of my church's.

Love carol and bella

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Friends are Everywhere!

Dear Joey,

New friends, old friends: here, there, and everywhere. I'm grateful for all of your friends in whatever capacity they are touching your life. May the touches, whether physical or intangible, be loving and kind and healing. May love abound all around.

love carol and bella

Monday, May 4, 2009

Therapy Day

Dear Joey,

I hope your first day of therapy was conducted with care and precision. I pray that your lung capacity exercise increases the volume of air you can intake. It's comforting to read that the fluid is dissapating. I hope you will rest well on your supersonic bed. What a great invention: it is saving you from being interrupted at night, and day for that matter, with someone coming in to move you. I'm praying everyday you will get stronger and mightier. May your fortitude increase to match the therapy.

love carol and bella

Friday, May 1, 2009

Settling In

Dear Joey,

I am hoping everything and everybody was ready for you when you arrived. May the transition to new surroundings and people go smoothly.
I am praying that the settling in process will be a breeze. I also am praying the doctors and therapists will design and construct a regimen that will benefit and promote healing to every part of your body, mind, and spirit.

Love carol and bella

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Dear Joey,

A change in destination but the same road: Recovery.

Once again I pray for a safe move and I add that you will receive a warm welcome of open arms and open hearts. Ready the expert care, ready the exact program, ready the excellent equipment.

Peace. You are loved.

Love carol and bella

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Santa Clara

Dear Joey,

So, you are going to get a change of scenery. I am praying for an uneventful, safe, and comfortable move tomorrow. I heard from Bob that the pacemaker hasn't fired. A strong stable heart is an asset. Sandy says your mind is sharp and accurate. Nimble and quick as always. Your's is a mind to admire. And I do. Sleep well in Hashem's arms. You are loved deeply and well.

carol and bella, the wonder dog.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Joey,

I am praying for the pneumonia to dry up today.

I know the best place for your health care will be found: one that has all the services and personnel you need.

So, the long view is that it will take some time for the nerves to heal. I'm praying for perfection in that healing process. Much of life and living takes time. Waiting doesn't always mean that nothing is happening. Hang in and hang on. You are loved.

Love Carol and Bella

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moving or Staying Put

Dear Joey,

You might get to move closer to home today. You are in God's capable hands where ever you are. He is there. I pray you do get to have the ability to speak without the trach soon. It must be exhausting to try to communicate in ways other than with your voice. Hopefully it is more amusing than exasperating to watch people try to understand. I'm thankful you have a strong mind and the will to keep working to accomplish your therapy.

Love carol and bella

Saturday, April 25, 2009

For Joey

May the lungs be clear of fluid, may you rest well, may your dreams be sweet. You are loved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



I'm glad your Mom is home!