1) I want to thank everyone who sent messages and comments wishing my mom a happy birthday yesterday.  She’s been fairly busy, so I’m not sure she’s had an opportunity to see the birthday blog I posted here yesterday.  But I know she saw the Church of Crisis tribute to her, which had been posted earlier than my blog – and she’s quite appreciative.  Her first thought was that I must be “the Minister” responsible for it – many of you have thought so as well.  I definitely am not the mastermind behind the Church of Crisis.  He is a friend of mine and would certainly respect any wishes I might have regarding the Church.  But I have granted him full creative and spiritual autonomy.  Although I consider the whole Church of Crisis business to be an honor and quite amusing, I assure you I am not that full of myself… lol.

2)  My step-mom Linda had her heart catheterization in Charleston this morning.  One artery was so blocked, the doctor tore it trying to push the “wire” through.  Two extra stents were required to stabilize it – so she ended up having five stents in all installed.  But all’s well that ends well, it seems.  She’s been out of surgery for a couple of hours and seems to be “doing good,” according to all accounts.  The other day, I received about fifty messages in response to my MySpace bulletins about Linda – offering prayers, kind thoughts, and support for me and my family.  Thank you very much!  And please keep them coming.

JC, Geri, Linda and Dad after our wedding in 2005 [photo by my sister Regina]

3)  If you read my Dad blog last month, you know he recently had major open heart surgery.  He was feeling ill for a while after that, and we were very concerned.  But it seems that one of the medications he’d been prescribed was responsible.  They took him off of it a couple of weeks ago, and now he’s doing very well.  Thank goodness!  We’re grateful for all the prayers and kind words you’ve offered on his behalf as well.

4)  We’ve been stressed the past few weeks after my wife’s doctor told her that her anti-nuclear antibody count was very abnormal and that he suspected she might have lupus.  He sent her to a specialist who ran all sorts of tests – and she finally received her results this morning.  When she heard the specialist’s voice on the phone, she was scared.  But he bore good news – all the tests were negative and she doesn’t have lupus after all!

5)  I swear I haven’t forgetten about the WTF? (Art Identification Challenge) blog I posted last month.  The results and prizes will be coming.  But determining the winner has proven to be more difficult than I expected.  And there have been other issues – and distractions – to address.  I will get to it.  I promise.

6)  April is National Poetry Month!  And that’s why I’ve posted quite a few more poetry blogs than usual this month.  I’m thinking about prolonging the fun once every week or two with a series of blogs spotlighting my favorite poets.  What do you think?

7) Three of our seven puppies went to good homes yesterday.  We have four females left – one black with Doberman markings like her dad Lucky and the other three various shades of brown like their mama Lady.  All four are adorable.  My five-year-old niece Hannah has named the lightest of the bunch after herself and continues to  plead with me: “Please, Uncle John, don’t sell Hannah.”

8) Finally, here are a few pictures we’ve snapped in the past week or so: 

JC Gardening [photo by Geri]

Self portrait while communing with the earth

My niece Hannah communes with a puppy [photo by JC’s mom]

Mas perritos [foto de JC]

JC in his Hillary pajamas with Lucky [photo by JC’s mom]

Mom and Geri after supper last night [photo by JC]

Mom and me on her back patio last night [photo by Geri]

Feelin’ a bit like Jack Tripper!

Happy birthday, Mom! [photo by Geri]