This Is My Friend Larry And Please Do The Cold Water Challenge For Him

For us this massive ALS cold water challenge phenomenon has a name and face attached to it.  Please read this because if ALS hasn’t affected you yet, it will one day.  Let’s try together to help stop this disease.

This is my friend Larry Hughes and his wife Kim, aren’t they pretty?

ALS Cold Water Challenge

They were over our home on December 21, 2012 for our 40th birthday party. Our photographer captured this conversation. I love the candidness of this picture. I was there too, listening carefully to Larry talk.

The expression on Kim’s face, her concern for the man she married is raw.

This picture represents what a sneaky beast ALS is.

You see, this picture was taken before Larry’s ALS diagnosis.

Larry was describing the weakness in his voice, softly because that was all he could.  My husband Jim, a physician, was giving them some advise on what tests Larry needed to have done.  Larry was talking about little things that were beginning to become bothersome.

ALS is a disease that starts out so small and snowballs into such a train-wreck on the body, and those the person loves.

Many people believe that not much has happened in the field of research for those that have been diagnosed with ALS. I always thought that once you are diagnosed with ALS there was really nothing you could do.  That was kind of the case for a long time.  I will share what I have found though to the contrary.  That information was gleaned after hearing a physician researcher talk about what we now know because of research done right here at Duke Hospital in North Carolina.

That research would not have been done if people did not donate money to run the labs.

We all have to decide what we can give, but even if everyone could give just a little to ALS research then ALS may no longer be a three year death sentence.

Larry has said that this diagnosis was part of God’s plan and he has handled it graciously. He has been traveling the world with his family completing his bucket list that has included zip lining and golfing in Scotland with his children.


His children.

They didn’t handle Larry’s diagnosis so graciously.  They decided to do something.  Here is the thing, when you decided to throw yourself into trying to make a change to find a cure and treatments for a disease that will eventually take your dad and you do it knowing it is too late for him…you rock.

Larry and Kim’s children are raising money that goes directly to ALS research.

Please click this link and meet Larry and his message.  You will also see links to Dr. Richard Bedlack and hear him talk about the Duke ALS Clinic and the gains made recently in ALS research.  I know Dr Bedlack personally.  Your donation to THIS ALS clinic will go directly to fund their amazing research.

Want to see what Larry and Kim’s kids did?

Here is how you can donate.  The golf tournament is over but the donations are still accepted.

Here is how you can donate. The golf tournament is over but the donations are still accepted.

THAT IS A CHECK FOR $290,000 going directly to the ALS Research Lab at Duke.

Isn’t that family cute?

We are lucky to count them all as dear friends.

ALS has a name, a face, a family and a story.

I hope you never have one, but chances are you will have a person to attach this disease too.

Please donate to help that person have options and treatments.

So if you are participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge please don’t forget to place your donation with an ALS charity.  I can make it easy for you to find one that goes directly to an ALS clinic that is making great strides.

Larry Hugh’s ALS Research Clinic at Duke Donation Page HOPE for ALS

The golf tournament is over but donations are still being accepted and will be given to Dukes ALS research clinic.  Here is what they are actually doing for ALS.  This was the information that made me excited that if we can continue to help fund this lab then possibly we could have new treatments for ALS.

Today there is group cold water challenge in my community and you are invited to attend.

Ice Bucket Flyer

There will be news crews there and the opportunity video challenge someone else.  Bring the family out and let’s keep this going folks.  There are too many people  we love that are fighting, have fought or may fight ALS.

Abbie Gale

The Monsters Want My Monster, adidas Headphones

Last Christmas all our boys wanted a pair of high dollar headphones.

As the mother of three boys, I understand wanting a great pair of headphones

I have talked endlessly about my desire to have a pair of “boys canceling headphones.”

The problem with approving Santa to bring them a pair was that the pair they all wanted, sounded terrible.

I know because I went to the store and tried them on.

Then I tried on other headphones and they sounded sooooo much better.

I told my boys that the brand they wanted looked cool but sounded bad.  They didn’t believe me.  So I took them to the store and I had them try them on.  I told them Santa believes he shouldn’t waste his money on poor quality goods.

Here is the thing, I didn’t buy them because I felt we were throwing money away for the sake of a brand.

So, one of my 14 year-olds saved his money and bought himself the designer brand that his friends all had.

I blog.  You know I blog and so sometimes I get the opportunity to test and review products.  I only agree if it is a product I have a feeling I will like and I don’t mind sharing my opinion of the item. Heck, I was getting ready to fly across the country with my family and the Monster adidas over-the-ear Originals are noise canceling.  This is a sponsored post.

I was having a pair of Monster adidas headphones sent to me!

Of course, I Googled them and I see they have a few different models.   The World Cup was just starting and they have World Cup headphones!  I tell my boys and there is mad scrambling and crazy talk about WHO was going to get MY headphones when they come based on what team Monster and adidas sends me.  Really?

I started to get a little nervous and I told them that these were MY headphones to try out and I reminded them that Monster makes GREAT sounding headphones and that they had their silly brand of headphones they HAD TO HAVE.  SO STAY AWAY FROM MY HEADPHONES!

They kept Googling and coveting the team adidas headphones they saw online.

Then my headphones came and guess what color they were?

They go with everything I wear…black!

Monster adidas over-the-ear Originals


Here is the thing.  These are designer headphones because they are adidas AND they have AMAZING MONSTER BRAND SOUND.

I am a tactile person.  I wont buy a throw pillow unless it feels as good as it looks.  These headphone FEEL good on.  The ear cushions feel like butter on your skin.  They came inside a travel bag with an Apple ControlTalk cable and a standard cable and both cables are a tangle free design.  They also fold up nicely for storage.


They have a full sound and they hit all the tones without being bass heavy.

While we were on the airplane the kids wanted to try out MOM’S headphones.

The littlest, in all fairness he is easy to please…

Monster adidas Orignal's Over-The-Ear Headphones

Isn’t he cute?

One of the twins…

Monster adidas Headphones

14 year-olds RARELY smile for a photo.  He was impressed.  He also LOVES adidas anything so he is styling and profiling.

Now the true test.

The other twin that saved his money for the brand of headphones that all the other kids were wearing…

Monster adidas Headphones

What?  Wait?  This is what music could sound like?!!!

There you have it.  The headphones rock and they are MINE!

If I were a nicer mom I would buy them each a pair of the Monster adidas Over-The-Ear Originals Headphones.

Or they could ask Santa for a pair.

The headphones retail around $299 and you can check them out here at the Monster Products Website.

Sponsored post.

-Abbie Gale



Being Mugged by a Donkey

We went out to the barn house yesterday and let the boys catch frogs and ride dirt bikes.

I was cutting through a small pasture where we let our neighbor keep their Mammoth Jack Donkey when Jim was cracking up at how the Donkey wont leave me alone.

Donkey out at the barn house with Abbie GaleHe pushes, nibbles on and follows everywhere. The pictures of him close up are me trying to get a picture but he wont stand away from me to get one.

Growing up around animals and having horses I find this funny because I have NEVER fed him or even brought him an apple. The owners are trying to break him to ride and train and treats for nothing are confusing so all I ever do is say hello and talk sweet to him.

I am beginning to think he is trying to mug me and cannot imagine someone would not bring him a treat.

I did get a kick out of Jim taking my camera because he was laughing so hard at Buckwheat acting like our dog, who would prefer I carry her 50 pounds around in my purse. I have to turn around and tell Buckwheat to stop because he pushes me to walk with him. Also, donkeys are coyote killers which is why I don’t have our dog with me. They will stomp on their heads if they try and attack them. Our pup gets sent into the barn if I am out by a pasture buckwheat is in.

Another thing, he only goes number two in the same spot. I love him for this. Even more, I love that he belongs to someone else and I don’t have to clean it up. He he he!

Abbie Gale

Summer Vacation Ideas and Zombies

“Hey boys! Look at this! We can do a night tour of Alcatraz! The boat pulls up for the tour behind Alcatraz on the loading docks!”

Nine year-old, “Ummm, no.”
Twin 1 at 14 years-old, “No. Freaking. Way.”

Me, “It would be soooo cool!”

Other twin, “Are you out of your mind? You clearly don’t play the video games we play set in Alcatraz AT NIGHT.”

Nine year old, “If you buy me multiple guns and let me take them with me I might go. (Giggles)”.

Twin 1, “they wont help with the zombies much and they wont help AT ALL with the ghosts.”

Nine year-old, “Yeah, true dat. Let’s just skip Alcatraz. Didn’t you say Ghiradelli was in San Francisco too? We can just do chocolate instead.”

Wimpy kids.

What else should we include in our summer San Francisco/Yosemite trip?

Signs from God and the DMV

I never thought of myself as a very religious person until God started talking to me. He wasn’t saying “Abbie, you sucked this morning when you lost your temper. Try talking kinder to your three sons when you find two alligator snapping turtles in your Jacuzzi. Ask yourself, what would Mary do?”

Most people don’t realize this, but God actually has a wicked sense of humor.

I always loved telling a good story, but sending me to school wasn’t one of my hippie parent’s priorities back in the seventies. Mastering the comma was forever lost on “Twenty-Eight Absences Abbie.” So instead, I honed my verbal storytelling and it worked well while I was a child invited to slumber parties. Even my friends in college enjoyed my beer, I mean my stories, but I never dared to write them down.

Then eventually I got older, got married, and had kids.

One day I realized my twin three year-olds didn’t want to hear about the time God thought it would be funny to have me accidentally drive a brand new car into a chop shop sting in Detroit when I was sixteen. Kids will just stare at you when you mention being frisked. Your spawn will just ask to watch “Jay Jay the Jet Plane” when you mention the police helicopters overhead.

I realized God wanted me to share my ridiculous stories online so other mothers would not abandon their children and go work at one of those all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean that doesn’t allow kids in.

He sent daily insanity my way, so that other moms may feel normal.

God had my blog in His plan even before I was born. A name that is a librarians dream. A.B.B.I.E. I will forever be butt-dialed by people. PTO moms shall accidentally sext me their boobies. God’s message there was that if you keep naked pictures of your private bits on your phone, you should probably install a password in case your phone happens into naughty teenagers hands.

So God sends me stories for my blog. Sometimes even, God sent me actual physical signs.

I started thinking that I might turn out to be a pretty normal adult when I found my loud-mouthed midwestern self living in a demure gated southern country club community with a physician husband.

God just decided to mail THAT sign directly to my house. It was my shiny new license plate for my new white Suburban, and the plate number was “WTF”.

I was notified by the State that it was a mistake and I could exchange it for a new one.

I decided to keep it.
After all, it was a sign sent directly…from God!

Abbie Gale