Ricky – In Memoriam

rickyMy beloved Richard Louis Schader, aka Ricky, passed away on Monday night. I am devastated. Ricky brought joy, light, and sheer happiness to the lives he touched, including mine and the Viking, and my three sons. And he wasn’t even my Golden Retriever.

We were privileged to be able to care for Ricky for six months while his true master looked for a pet friendly place to live. During those wonderful six months, we fell in total love with Ricky and he became part of our family.

When it was time for Ricky to leave, I negotiated custody rights, and our home became ‘Ricky’s Vacation Home’ a few times a year. Ricky visited three times this year; for my birthday, for a week in the summer, and for a long weekend in October. I am so happy I was able to have him recently.

Here are a few of the hundreds of pics I took of Ricky.

RIP, Ricky. I will always love you.





IMG_1234 IMG_1230 IMG_1225 IMG_1039









Ricky in car looking back Ricky behind John in car Ricky in car Ricky in car full face








Today, Ricky’s Vacation Home is in mourning.

Our sincere condolences to Andrew.

R.I.P. Robin Williams. You will be sorely missed!

220px-Mrs_DoubtfireThe world is poorer by far with the loss of Robin Williams yesterday. A comic genius, a devoted family man, he had the unique ability to immerse you completely into whatever world he occupied in a movie or a television show.

Robin Williams made me laugh until I cried. Deep bust gusting laughter is the ultimate tension reliever and there is no greater talent than being able to provoke that in a human being. Robin Williams had the supreme talent to do that, over and over again. From Mork and Mindy (I still agree with the concept of being born old and growing younger until you return to the womb- brilliant) to Jumanji to Mrs. Doubtfire to The Birdcage—these are movies I watch again and again  and still bust a gut laughing.

Then there is Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, and Good Morning Vietnam, all films which showcase Robin William’s dramatic talent. Movies that make you think long after you’ve seen them.

Obviously, I didn’t know the man, but I admired him for his honesty and tenacity while conquering some of his demons—he had been sober since 2006. I also venerated the way he adored and loved his family. By all accounts, he was an admirable human being.

Yes, there is no doubt, the world is poorer. I am stunned, desolate, and blue, and I lament his loss. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Grieving Robin Williams and watching Mrs. Doubtfire,


Remembering Dad

mourningYesterday would have been my father’s eighty-first birthday. I spent much of the day looking through old photo albums (remember those?) and mourning his loss. Twenty-one years after his death, the rawness of my grief has abated, but the intensity remains the same.

I am the only female child of my parents and I was the absolute apple of my dad’s eye. I adored  him, hero-worshiped him, and, later, learned to accept that he was not the perfect man I’d idolized. He gave me a gift that every parent should their children, he loved me, and he told me so constantly in both words and actions.

It’s not that my father didn’t have flaws. My goodness, he had those aplenty, but my father was an ethical man in corrupt country whose idealism never faltered. He was a visionary. I can still remember the day I introduced him to the Apple 1 and Visicalc. He was astounded, but turned to me, and said, “This is the future. This will change our world. We have to get in on the ground floor.” And we did. My dh and I were in the first graduating class of the launch of the IBM PC. A launch that gave birth to the technology world as we know it today. IBM legitimized what was then a rouge industry.

But, I digress. I have Dad’s picture on my desk and in my bedroom. I still miss him every single day, and I suspect that will go on until the moment I expel my last breath.

Love you Daddy and wish you were here,

Your daughter,