This morning my husband told me “You broke protocol.”

I was annoyed as we overlapped doing the same chore and it could have caused issues, but it didn’t. I usually work on the computer in one room but today I was very quiet and after my exercises for my right hip began to work on the computer in my office area. The garage door was wide open and I did not see my husband. I wondered if I should watch the open area in case someone decided to stroll in off the street. I presumed he was in the backyard but he wasn’t.

Annoyed, I went to my office area and began working thinking ‘I will be dammed….if I have to watch the driveway for someone sneaking up…” It turned out my husband was working in the garage, so we overlapped on this one too.

Taking my time this morning, trying a few new exercises for the hip, I decided to make a nice keto friendly breakfast of eggs, cheese, leftover ham, and little pitas. This will be my lunch as it is later. I noticed the coupon for the grocery store sale on butter begins today. Great price. I said to my husband, “I will go on Friday after my visit to the doc.”

He said, “No, I will go this morning. Because by Friday, there won’t be any left.”

Feeling guilty, I remarked, “I can go.”

To which, he said, “No, I got it.”

The sense of urgency. I can appreciate it as it helps me get moving. A perfect job came up through a social media discussion between myself and another teacher for next year which would require me to be online and in an office making visits to the site from time to time. I have all the certifications.

I said to my husband, “I think I will send an email to the person she recommended tomorrow.”

He said, “Do it, now. I don’t know why you and Josh wait. It won’t be there.”

Okay, so I send it out and she told me ‘Apply, when the transfer period is here in another two weeks. Thanks.”

I found the perfect kitchen counter chairs-very elegant, great buy on marketplace. I showed them to my husband.

He said, “They are perfect. Let them know we are interested.”

After some chats back and forth, the person asked us to be there in one hour in Tarpon Springs which is over one hour from our house. The husband flew out the door and said, “Tell them. I am on my way.”

We got them and they are perfect. It was an estate sale, so the person I was chatting with wasn’t even there. It was the realtor who was selling the entire contents of a very upscale condo. We got a great buy.

So, late this morning I sat down to my omelet sitting in the chairs much improved from the uncomfortable director chairs (now on sale on Marketplace) while the husband raced to the store for the butter buy.

I love the man but breaking protocol is something I am familiar with. If that is the worst thing, someone can say about my timing I am okay with that. After all, I did find the buy on marketplace and I remembered the butter deal. We roll to different times and mostly we end up bringing different strengths to the table.

Enjoy your week!

Yesterday, I found a photographer for my book sleeve after a somewhat frantic search. I found the best person in the immediate area and she will come next week to take my photo. That little chore turned out to be more challenging then I realized as some photographers wanted to charge me anywhere from $200-500 dollars for a set. After being empathetic that is was not for a wedding shot, a glamour shot, or a reunion, I found the photographer I was looking for at the price I was looking for. There is also something to be said for waiting.

I hesitated to pull the trigger. I heard my husband say, “Go ahead, do it.”

She will be here next week to take the shot (1 for my book sleeve). We are thinking ‘garden’ with the pug if it is a nice day.

Sometimes you got to know when to pull that trigger. Move forward. If not, it helps to have the husband, nearby.

Mike came up with sweet po’tater’s cute description with a quip about Rhett Butler and Scarlett in Gone with the wind. I came up with the recipe. Reading an old journal: so many good things on board makes you move past the disappointments. People and events don’t always do what they should but you have to let go and move on and learn. The same is true for writing a book I am grateful to author, Terese Dovalpage, who critiqued my work and encouraged me to follow through with a series based on my protagonist. I kept her email for encouragement.

And I definitely enjoyed the book. If you were to write something mostly  set up in the Middle East, Soho Crime would also be a good publisher to approach as they focus on crimes abroad 🙂

Terese Dovalpage, PhD


I did find a publisher and do look forward to writing a series based on my two protagonists.

Spice cake filled with a creamy mixture of sweet potato, brown sugar and raisins, topped with a milk chocolate maple icing then sprinkled with bacon chunks. Rhett may have cared a little more if Scarlett had served these us for dessert! The photo below is of Chai time as I could not find any of the Sweet Po’tater, so I will leave it to your imagination and taste buds. In the picture of the line of cupcakes decorating an event, I believe the Sweet Po’tater is 6th in from the left.

One of my new blog readers congratulated me on my acceptance of my mystery/thriller book for publication and asked about the process. Well, I will share. I am in my second editing: the editor makes suggestions and I approve them, if I agree. I did not want names for my chapters, so I disagreed with this. There is also a special way to do the editing with asterisk which the editor wants placed above for a change of scenery, character, characters internal dialogue, etc. I am frustrated as there are many things to correct, so my husband agrees to help me with indenting the dialogue and noting the change of character’s dialogue.

I ask him, “Are you going to read it?”

He says, “No, I am just doing one thing. The dialogue. Making sure it is indent in the right place.”

And so he does. This is very helpful as now I have one less thing on my plate and will send in for the next editing. Along the way, I notice there are some problems with using the character’s name wrong, no transitional words between chapters and have I followed through with intent. Does the plot make sense? I remind myself that a publisher liked it and is working with me. The details will be smoothed out in time.

The details bother me but in the end I decide to send it off early next week as planned. My husband reassures me, “There will be 3 more editing, so you have time.” He is right. So, nervous Nellie sends it in and waits for the next volley. I had the opportunity to speak with my publisher, Barringer Publishing, by phone the other day and it was a much needed discussion which soothed my anxiety about getting everything right.

Writing a book: is not for sissies; neither is getting older, my aunt used to remind me. Memories of owning a cupcakerie seems sweet in pictures but the reality…hmm, I could write a story. Just keep your feet on the ground and pack a smile, somewhere or your favorite sweet.

Just to let you know, a cupcakerie is a setting in my mystery/thriller. To be continued……

What was the best compliment you’ve received?

My hairdresser, Jordanian, let me know after cutting and styling my hair that I reminded him of the American-born Queen Noor of Jordan.

That made my week. The best compliment.

“Oddest food as a dessert” is the sentence fragment posted on my little blackboard for blogging. At the time, I was thinking of sweets for relief. Sweets at the end of my editing for my book (2nd editing) required by publisher; sweets (at the end of my 30-45 minutes) of exercises for my right hip as prescribed by the Physical Therapist or a treat for holding on patiently to the phone line hearing the music as I made follow up doc appointments required by my primary after my annual visit.

Remember the commercial for Bud Light Hold. Why am I not seeing this anymore after the Super Bowl? From time to time, I see other commercials from the Super Bowl and groan through them.

The Brownie Rebellion-Let me tell you about my fancy for sweets.

“The Brownie Rebellion” 2014-not even a decade ago, one of my husband’s creations. I would take one gourmet stuffed cupcake home weekly and that did not include sampling the buttercream for the frosting, etc. I might have picked up a few pounds, so…this leads into the next segway about my doc appointments.

My former primary care physician’s assistant and I indulged a little as we were close in age and she had known me for at least a decade. My new primary care physician is in her early thirties and we are still becoming comfortable with one another. We don’t joke about age, weight as I did with Doc M. We shared anecdotes about time in the military, her grandchildren, retirement on the horizon, etc. My new primary had on stylish heels and was very petite. I liked her shoes which was a good sign. She is very thorough and she also told me that losing weight (30 lbs) would help with my hip. Today, I will make fat bombs, drink my coffee with cream, plan our meals for the week, and skip lunch.

My senses desire to awaken, so I sniff Youth Dew from Estee Lauder. Memories of richer dessert days including my favorite cheesecake. Memories of our old cupcakerie: peach panache, chocolate volcano, kookie monster, fox’s delight, peanut butter cup, etc.

It is low 50’s in Florida. I finished my walk (1 mile) and exercises. Next week will be editing and I will return the manuscript to the publisher on March 27th. His editor makes suggestions about shortening sentences, dialogue indents, quotes and indicates standard format. For example: use of *** when character voices thoughts, change of scene, etc. It is painstaking detailed work. I completed as directed the past week (over 50 chapters), 79, 702 words and now will again, proof my edits this coming week.

And hey, I need to get some Bud Light for on hold next week as I felt myself curling up in a ball while on hold for making an appointment line. A few more coming up this week including speaking with a nutritionist, a virtual visit for yoga, and orthopedics. I am certain getting the husband to dance, it might be easier to get the pug moving to the rhythm. And I am sad to say, my dancing days are limited, for now. I am optimistic as each day gets easier with the exercises and the advice of the PT.

But the husband is busy rocking with Bryan Adams, and I am enjoying a lazy Sunday!

What is your sweet treat? How do you treat yourself? I could talk a little about my need to put mayonnaise on sweet potatoes, butter in my coffee, etc. but that might be another blog.

Spring has sprung

the day be done

climb the ladder

one by one…

The pug

my loyal friend waits patiently

watching me exercise, bake

wondering just what makes us tick

and where is his snack?

  1. Another tree cut down which is good as less reason for something to fall on the house, our neighbor’s boat.
  2. It appeared that I had company behind me the other day walking the pug a different route. A homeless man who disappeared in the nearby woods. I didn’t freak out. He was very quiet. The walker ahead kind of alerted me that something was a little off. I was totally in the present, so I looked behind me and there was someone following a little too closely.
  3. I was glad that I did not have to implement a new discipline regulation I was reading about in which the teacher had to download a form for students to go to the restroom and it would monitor their time. The form was on a cellphone and the teacher had to send to the students’ cellphone. Huh? More cell phone usage?
  4. I found a whole new pair of exercises to do for my right hip. The good thing is I am doing the physical therapy on my own every day. It is the unexpected-crouching in the garden to pick weeds, swooping to pick up garbage or clean that gets to me.
  5. I have found a wonderful Australian author: Shelley Burr to follow on my kindle. I love reading about the outback.
  6. I have less of an appetite but am eating very well with yogurt, fruit, and have time to make a few good recipes.
  7. The garden is set up and taking less work. We have a routine and it is working. Michael set up a new feeder for humming birds and we are hoping they will visit.
  8. I am getting more deep sleep-2.5 hours and overall, 6-7 hours a night of sleep which is good for me.
  9. Things are moving forward. It takes effort and dedication but things are happening.
  10. I feel prepared for what is to come and my mood is much better. Husband has some appointments for medical next week and I have my physical therapy appointment. Bring it on.

Sometimes you don’t see the 11th thing coming: I also found out that my first publisher passed away. He was a friend and colleague I worked with at a university for 5 years. He died of a heart attack. That is why he did not answer my texts, emails regarding the progress of my book, etc. He had lost his editor and was trying to hold down the business. He lived about 2 hours from our home in another part of Florida. I knew something was going on but in the end it is good to know the truth as unanswered questions are not good for anyone. To Jose, he loved his huskies and he was a good friend to the Arabic students we taught English at the Language Institute. I remember some good times.

I am glad to have known him. Thank you for listening.

The other day the internet went out for 8 hours and I rediscovered the old fashioned way of doing things. Instead of looking up recipes, information, or even entertaining myself I was reviewing things to stay busy. I read some of my book, edited some of my book to be published and eventually went to my phone where I began a count down. The count down was to get rid of 300 or so saved emails that were in the spam and trash. Unfortunately, as I would get down to the a smaller number I would discover more to do and so I continued.

As I continued and read old emails, I discovered some good things: I was getting a book published, finally. My former publisher had backed out but the new one was now finishing up the second edit. We are working together. More information to follow, stay tuned. The good thing is I did not quit. So, reviewing those old emails I was rewarded to note I kept going when my former friend/publisher just stopped editing and I was unable to get in touch with him despite the many emails, texts, and phone calls. I found a publisher willing to take a chance and his company only accepts 15% of submissions! Yay!

Then I moved on to my old photo albums finding an album with my bucket list pasted in. I could finally check off “Get my book published.” I was reviewing an old photo album from when I first left New York City so many years ago to join my retired parents in a small village near the Gulf of Mexico. I lived in a shotgun shack my dad had bought for a song and a dance right across from the Gulf. During this time, I used my time to hunt for a few creative jobs including writing part time for a local newspaper. I had several interesting jobs including being a French interpreter for a group of mechanics from Rohr. I also researched my family the old fashioned way by using a book my dad had along with names to personally write letters to each of the 22 members with my father’s last name located in Charleston, South Carolina. I also focused on those in New York City and California.

I reread my old letter recalling the old typewriter: I believe it was a Smith Corona. I can remember sitting outside on the little screen porch writing the letter and excitedly waiting for the mail delivery each day. Anyway, I looked at my list which included some goals I deviated from: go to law school(instead I was accepted on part of a job training program with college credits for paralegal); be in the Peace Corps (I was to go to Arica but instead opted out); run for office (hmmm, enough needs not to be said), and yes, I did learn a bit of Arabic language, and although I have not acted in the movies or tv, I was interviewed by a local tv station when I returned from a year of teaching in the United Arab Emirates. Yes, we did own a business! A cupcakerie.

Some goals I am still aiming for including : a visit to Eastern Europe and my desire to visit Africa on a safari. Some goals I grew out of: like jumping out of a plane, being a detective, and meeting Robert Redford. So, it was a good way to spend the hours that the internet was not working as ” a major part went bad in the hub.” Along the way, I have also learned a few new skills including tech language which if you had mentioned to me so many years ago, I might have giggled. Along the way with the goals, some unexpected serendipities: a good marriage and my stepchildren along with grandchildren which I did not expect. Sometimes life leads you in a different direction and the power going out lets you slow down enough to realize a good thing when you have it. Thanks for listening! There are many roads I could have chosen and I might have encountered a few more mishaps or something else but I am glad with the one I choose. As for the future, I won’t be making any more lists. I am finished with that part.

How about you? What are some old papers or old memories you found recently that you can share with me? Enjoy the weekend!

The Little Things in Life


Great big houses with great big rooms
Were not fashioned for brides and grooms;
A little place is where we should be.
Great big troubles and great big cares
Come from houses with marble stairs;
A little place for you and me.


Just a little room or two
Can more than do
A little man and wife.
That’s if they’re contented with
The little things in life.
Living on a larger scale
Would soon entail
A lot of care and strife.
We could be so happy with
The little things in life.
A little rain,
A little sun,
A little work,
A little fun,
A little time for loving
When the day is done.
And a little thing that cries
For lullabies
Could make a man and wife
Tell the world how much they love
The little things in life.

Even from the past, we had it right from the beginning. A garden is made step by step. Digger by Digger. When one ends, we wait and replenish. Again, it grows. To every season is a time and for each time a meaning. Mostly. And sometimes the past comes into play if only as a reminder as we continue to move forward and not make too much of the past.

Let the past move forward. That is all. Good night.

Somedays you are right where you want to be. Husband and I thought of a day trip but we realized that we know Florida so well and we decided to go another day. We were in the present enjoying the present, so the coast could wait. So, he went out to get some stones for the divider which needed to be replaced and bought a plant. I cleaned the picnic table and did some weeding. Then we had lunch. Sometimes the little things are so important. Another day, we will chose a new direction and visit a different part of Florida.

There is time but we need a new destination. Thanks for listening.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is img_20230210_101758917_hdr-1.jpg

And now our birds have a feeder, a bird bath and a little hotel to go to. My husband’s original bird bath was reinvented after a decade with the help of John, the handyman as we sat outside listening to 70’s: Pat Benatar, Barry White, the Bee Gees, Journey….as we all felt the disco beat. Time moves forward but yet sometimes old music is a better fit than the new stuff. Thanks to our next door neighbors for their great taste in music and a wonderful stereo system! Thanks to John our handyman for finishing the design of the pergola.

And it appears colder weather is on the way tonight.

Some days you think you know yourself very well, as with age comes knowledge. Other days, you are surprised. For example: I never thought of myself as socially savvy until I realized how many blogs I have written. I have been online with my blog since 2013 when we began our store “Cupcake Cache” and then I continued writing after we closed.

I have also kept a few interesting things in my folder about topics including a TikToker started with a 1¢ bobby pin and bartered it all the way up to an $80,000 house. I remember thinking this was amazing and wondering at her ingenuity and what item would I first offer. What would be the first thing you offered for exchange? It was a needed respite after reading of all the cruel antics on Tik Tock aimed at educators, policemen, etc. A lot of bullies out there. Sometimes it is refreshing to hear the good news although sometimes bad news can make us feel so grateful that we are not familiar with a trend or it is not happening to us.

People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I think this is the biggest challenge for many of us as I read comments posted on social media sites and articles. We see what we look for and hear what we listen for. To change, to be open and to hear the alternate point of view without commenting is tough and may not always work to our advantage. Sometimes something is what it is and change is not coming any day soon so, to coin a phrase and the only choice you are left is obvious. Sometimes to move forward, you must step back with eyes wide open.

Sometimes we have to try. Thanks for listening. Have a wonderful weekend! And now, I have just shared my last blog idea hidden in my emails, so I move forward with 2023.

What have you picked up from your husband, your family members growing up? What kind of character traits do you inhabit like warm chocolate holding tight to cold whirled ice cream? Thinking of my parent’s custard stand in the Catskills, like Dairy Queen, I remember my mom’s propensity for drama which maybe came with Irish territory, throw in some French and Voila…you have theatrics. No one could tell a story like my mom. When she shared stories with us of growing up in New York City in the Village during the Depression, a father who was Head of the Labor Union of Dock Workers, and going to 8 different schools. Then he owned a candy store, lots of monies, no monies….no one could tell a story like my Irish mamma, the daughter of a very tough Irish man.

So, I may have inherited a bit of her theatrics as I love to add drama to the mix as those who know me, know me well. There is also a bit of the Swedish reserve, my father who kept a great Poker face. Between the two, they were a pair well matched. I enjoy theatrics but it appears that playing ‘poker face’ gets me through successfully some challenging times when I don’t always agree with the cards being played or the people being played. And in a pinch, I know I can change character.

From my husband, I have picked up on his order, organization and logic as an analyst with the military….he is very methodical and pragmatic which followed him in many of his trade jobs and habits. I am not. I am more trusting of my intuition and value my insight…kind of like my mom, “I have a feeling” is something I will cry aloud when something comes true about a person or situation. In other words, I have good instincts. My husband will not always chose to believe his intuition stating that more is following numbers, statistics, facts, etc. But I have lived life in a few different arenas from overseas to small towns, big cities and I know that my people smarts kept me intact. Something I inherited from my mom and something my dad also rolled his eyes at just like when she would say, “I wish we lived again in Manhattan, so I wouldn’t have to drive a car and could walk or take the subway.”

She never did get her license but she sure made certain I did at 16. Although you could not catch me watching sports besides basketball which I have always enjoyed because I think of ballet, for some reason. I had lots of fun telling past classes of students that some of the best and most gifted football players studied ballet to be quick on their feet. My husband is a big sports fan, so I have learned to appreciate sports, expressions like “Hail Mary” when you are behind and need a touchdown to tie or win and it is your last play. Hoping someone catches it sounds like something I have easily identified with, especially when beginning a new enterprise.

Appreciating the game of football and realizing it is no game for dummies helps me with understanding other strategies in life and dealing with things, so it is no surprise when I find an analogy under sports idioms: political football an issue that politicians argue about and try to use for their advantage.” the earliest citation for this comes from the beginning of the 19th Century. (Merriam Webster Dictionary). But my favorite habit I picked up from my husband is : it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. This has helped me immensely when I struggle to find information, not forthcoming this past year with paperwork and people. For that, I am grateful to know and if the paperwork catches up to me, ah well. “Let the drama begin.” Like the football player, I have listened well, anticipated the game, and worked with the items at hand. Sounds like a win to me. Now, if I can learn a few rules of football, maybe not. Hmmmm. Like I said recently, “I like writing fiction.”

How about you? What are some traits or characteristics have you inherited or adapted lately? Enjoy the weekend!

(Shared-A blog I enjoyed reading today and look forward to reading more of.)

Photo by Brett Sayles on This quotations series will focus on four significant U.S. Army generals from World War II.  Each man contributed mightily to the overall success of the Allies war effort.  This outstanding quartet will feature:  George C. Marshall, George S. Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Omar Bradley.  Postings will include two of […]

American Generals Quotes — Big Sky Buckeye

Evidently, there is a Night Court revival. I remember watching the reruns with my husband enjoying the humor which led me to wondering last night in bed at 2 a.m. : if you could choose a reBoot for the New Year of a tv show, which would it be?

You, first……

I love how music can make us go especially towards the end of the year as can some chosen quotes.

“I saw fire, fire and brimstone coming down on my head.” Which is the way I view the New Year ahead.

Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

“It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.” – The perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” — Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

And a revealing moment- Ivana Trump’s copies of Vogue tossed into a garbage truck. It makes one wonder-what do you want not to end up at the dump? Sad that no one from her family saved them from this fate.

“If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life is the moment we are living now.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho A new year’s resolution. Bring it on 2023!

And if you feel zonked or cream crackered, you might want to take a nap according to a story on Newsbreak about British phrases that confuse us. For the new year, I hope we all stay away from “a few sandwiches short of a picnic” as we navigate with clear focus all wits on deck.

The news is full of: a local cold front in Florida: 44 degrees, feels like 40 and this morning we woke up to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Much better than negative 7 in the Catskills and colder as the weatherman travels further North. When the Sunshine State is hit by a cold front, the iguanas start falling. In short, when they get too cold, they drop from the trees intro a frozen and catatonic state. We watch news programs of people further South picking them up and resting them out of harm’s way until they defrost. An article warns ‘they are very much alive-and potentially dangerous, if you mess with them.’

Hmm……it makes me wonder if they are trusting their intuition about a situation that could be potentially harmful to them and hibernating, so to speak. The cold-blooded iguana relies on external heat to regulate body temperature, so they retreat to hibernation when the temperature falls below 50 degrees. We are warned not to go near frozen iguanas as they will defrost, and in particular “Do not bring them into your home.”

These days as we hibernate from the cold, I am entertained by watching “Don’t Pick Up the Phone” and news stories. I enjoy watching the news of New York as it is sooo cold there, feeling more cozy inside. We watch stories of “Edge of Alaska” noting that there is a very serviceable air strip with many small planes in a place called McCarthy, Alaska. No surprise that many of the same characters living off the grid are now very wealthy as they were paid well for each episode and some of the dialogue was scripted. Still, very entertaining. In between, I continue reading the novels of Scott Pratt (Darren Street Book), a series. I bake a few things, including an keto apple pie. We engage in small talk staying indoors, I reminisce a little about growing up in the Catskills: 14 snow days a year and the absolute solitude of white snow, long icicles which reached from roof to the ground, and skiing through the drifts to our big red barn to check on the horses, the chickens, etc. As we light our fire, yes we do have a fireplace, and we can listen to the news of the ‘bomb cyclone effect’ dubbed on a New York news station regarding the cyclical cold we are all experiencing.

“Didn’t you ever snowmobile?” I ask my husband.

He says, “No.”

As I mention my surprise, he asks me “Did you ever rappel from a helicopter?”

I admit, “Nope. No desire.”

We didn’t have a snowmobile but we were friends with neighbors who had one and came over to our house. Kind of like knowing someone with a boat in Florida.

I think again of the iguanas doing what most of Florida is doing right now: hibernating until it gets warmer. Is it instinct or simply survival? When they sense something harmful to them, they retreat for survival? Is it instinct or years of honed in survival of the fittest? Stay warm and away from falling iguanas if you are down South. Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas.

How are you choosing to stay warm? Thanks to the St. Pete Times for the photo and the quotes re: iguanas.

We have a Pug. He snores. Not loud, more like heavy breathing, but if you lock onto it, you have a hard time sleeping. At times, it can wake us up, and when it does, you are up for an extended period of time. He cannot help it, and it is because of their recessed […]

Better than Melatonin — The Earth Spins

This morning another blogger wrote about magazine subscriptions and having to call one when they automatically renewed her subscription without contacting her. It brought to mind that I miss seeing magazines this week when I went to get my hair cut. No magazines and everyone was on their phone. As you might know by now, I was not. I sat staring at them, wondering if the hairdresser would get the “picture” of how I wanted my hair to look. Nervously, I opened my phone, found the picture and story and showed him only to have him peer in closely. It all seemed awkward. I thought of the day I was getting a pedicure and I noticed a customer reading. I asked the owner, “Do you have any magazines?” He shrugged, “No” and gesturing to the customer told me, “She brings her own.” Immediately, I felt a connection. I began talking more to the owner of the store discovering he was a collector of Chinese art and pottery. He began to describe to me the delicate beauty of the vases, paintings, etc. The same customer looked over and smiled at me as she noted my interest and confided, “I was eavesdropping.”

I liked her even more, after that. I am sure we were both surprised by the honest rambling of the Vietnamese owner professing his love of art, beauty and collecting Chinese dishes. I noted today that I follow 99 blogs. That is too many for someone who enjoys keeping things simple. However, I find something to follow in many of those: there is the Canadian teacher whose days I like to read about; the frugal mom in the Midwest raising 4 children with her husband; the couple who are expats; the Aussie who writes about Down Under; the New Yorker; the blogger who moved to Arizona with her husband and posts beautiful pictures; and the ones who never returned but yet, I keep track of them because they might return and I want to know when they do so.

It is like shoes. I have over 20 pairs but sometimes I wear them all at some point, so why should I get rid of them. The other day, I let go of some clothes, and jewelry. It was challenging but I did so. I don’t want new clothing just to pare down a little. The blogger mentioned that magazines are a dying breed. I agree as yesterday in Publix, I picked up a magazine. I think it was “Living Simply” or something like that. The cover had information about living the best healthy you through diet, exercise, etc. I looked at the price. I did not want to pay almost $5 for a magazine, so I returned it to the rack.

I remember as my mom got older how she loved to sit on the porch and read Vanity Fair. She loved the writers and the stories. We also kept old People Magazines lying around for entertainment. To be honest, reading a magazine on kindle is not the same feeling as holding the hard copy, turning the pages, and then returning to it during the evening…especially if you can’t sleep or have a cold. Remember those days of filling yourself with liquids, good reading material and staying in. The day is dreary outside as the weather is chillier and rainy; however, we have a reservation for Thanksgiving Dinner for 2 at a nice restaurant tomorrow.

We will be revived and ready to roll. I have decided to keep all 99 + of the bloggers I read, just so I can read what the retiree in France is doing, and what about the retiree in Florida: perhaps it is just the thrill of finding we are more alike than different. And to be honest, it makes my world bigger. So, just like the few magazines I still want to buy and read, I might put up with a few more inconveniences, and inconsistencies to know something from my past is still going strong.

And somedays, that is what you need to hear and know as the world continues slogging on despite our best efforts to slow down time. And sometimes nature takes it course and slows us down with a cold, so we can take the time to appreciate the small things when we get back on our feet, again. Happy Thanksgiving!

Which button would you press? Reminds me of my year in Abu Dhabi? For some reason, the entire year I thought they were asking if I were an Emirati would I want to receive my monies in gold or universal health care? Since the health care consisted of myself waiting in a room with 100 people, so that the doctor could write me a slip stating in between my hacking and sniffling that I was sick to take to my workplace, I figured I would choose the “gold.” Or maybe my lack of knowledge skills in the field of Arabic language proved to be detrimental to my mental and physical well being. It still does not explain why a couple from Georgia were determined to pass themselves off as Emirati’s….

And this is why I write fiction, mostly. Enjoy your week!

And I end the long week with this…….

This may be my favorite!

I read my thoughts from over a decade ago: Writing is the balance of words, sentences with an author’s intent to involve the reader in something that will take an individual outside of himself. Writing is a delicate balance of hard work, perseverance and the right choice of character, story line and sentence structure involving the intent of the writer to grasp your attention quickly. Our society today functions and moves forward with pictures. Those who can capture our intellect quickly today are similar to magicians performing their craft.

Writing is like a boxing match: two opponents which are the pen and paper or the keyboard and the computer monitor. My thoughts flow in writing but my revisions are like being challenged to a new match where I must outpace my opponents. My greatest critic while writing is myself. Writing is a solidary are of which I must compete against no one but myself. I hope my students will discover the sheer joy of communicating through words on paper expressing what one feels but finds difficult, if not impossible to say aloud.

I read an old poem I wrote:


Flying elephants

Flew over my grave last night

He told me

I paused mid-sentence

Was it heavy?

He laughed like the rumble

of the train chortling by in the distance

Why, yes it was

And it be

They flew over my grave

And stepped on my toes

Heavy footed and striking fancy-free

He paused as if for effect

I asked him, so what did you do?
He told me, I kept on moving slowly

Until I rambled out of their eye sight

Then as they went on by

Waving their trunk

I took off my glasses

Poured a stiff drink

And welcomed the New Year.

Photo by Pixabay on

I have noticed something interesting: the last two Fridays. The first was driving home from work: there was a man crossing the divider between very busy traffic to collect monies from a woman blaring her stereo with dance music. His sign read: I could really use a few dollars as I need a drink as I have had a rough week, treat me. So, she did. I mentioned this to my husband and today a week later, the same thing happened. A thin gray haired man was weaving between 4 lanes of traffic in the same spot on the divider looking for donations. A truck blared a horn to the right of me, a big work truck and the man went running over in front of my car to collect monies from the man.

My mind ran through all the possibilities: the same spot, rush hour traffic, the danger of accidents and why did people keep giving monies out the window. Why did people continue to ask for money on this dangerous corner leading to a very busy 4 way intersection. Why was there not a crash? Why just this morning a police officer had been run down and the driver fled the scene and had evaded capture momentarily and now was under arrest as was the person who helped him become a fugitive….

My husband said, “It is their good deed for the day.” I thought about this and all the liabilities that might have happened and decided if I wanted to feel good about myself that I could offer some encouragement to one of my fellow teachers at the end of a very busy and stressful week or maybe I could check in on an elderly neighbor in our hood or donate time to the Salvation Army. There are others ways I could get a foot up on the good side of my image or feelings without endangering someone else’s day or life. I am still amazed that no one was hit as monies were handed out. And for what, $5 is a cheap price to enter the gates of sainthood. Hey, thanks for listening. Enjoy the weekend!

Yesterday was a good day for us! We went to Belk’s Dept. Store and used our discount coupon to buy a few shirts for the husband, a top for me, and some other things. I love going to Belks. Since we were in the area, I also bought a set of paper trays for $10! It was a great deal and barely used. I found it on Facebook Marketplace. She sold me 3 perfectly fitted letter trays for $10.

However, getting the seller to commit was challenging for this $10 deal which is why perhaps it was still online a month later. I was finally able to commit and make it to her home and buy! I was delighted but had to pass several hoops to get the deal, or so it seemed.

Anyway, then after Belks where the saleslady gave us so many discounts that we saved $153, we went to Dunkin’ Doughnuts and I was able to try the Pumpkin Cold Brew which was delicious and the bagel doughnut holes with cream cheese which were good with all spices on them. Honestly, the customer service lady asked so many questions that I am just glad to get what I wanted. And to top it all off, they were playing Coldplay’s Viva La Vida.

The husband said, “You’re buying as you have the monies.” Because I was carrying the $$$ in my pocketbook.

Seriously, I asked myself does it get any better than this? Now, you know why I love Dunkin’ Doughnuts as they play Coldplay. We also had a view of the lake and the birds circling outside. Quiet and peaceful. Then we came home, tried on our clothes, husband watched the Virginia Tech game and I putzed around in the garden watering the plants, filling the fountain for the birds, and enjoying the cooler air as the temperature is 84 degrees.

This is what Fall looks like in Florida. How was your Saturday?

We will pause this message and return shortly. Do you remember these messages from the TV growing up? You know, the old standard TV, no muss or fuzz and we would all pause until the show returned. I remember teaching in South Korea when a warning would come over the public system: a loud buzz, eerie and we would run for shelter. Now, we hear alerts on our cell phone for vulnerable people lost or searching for someone messages. The other day in class, one of the newly arrived students from Cuba: her cell phone buzzed with that loud obnoxious noise and one of the other students had to show her how to turn it off.

There was a blogger I used to follow and he mentioned “pausing” as he said his wife was having some serious medical conditions. That was in 2020 and he has not returned. I checked the other day. I was reading some of my past blogs. You know how they come up when you write a new blog and some of the stuff may be familiar speaking of ‘Florida, family, home,’, etc. I was amazed at how often my memories run to familiar territory like a bag of coffee beans waiting for the right customer to stock up. I repeat myself surrounding myself with good memories: growing up in the Catskills, my mother, my travels, teaching English, the ‘pug’, our garden, etc. the influence of my husband, as I continue my path in the present.

Do you find yourself doing this? Have you ever reread your old blogs and noticed they were similar to some of the themes you discuss now? However, I am happy to notice how my life continues to move forward with new things. I guess that means we are still in the game.

The game called LIFE. That is all. Enjoy the weekend.

And then I spoke to my husband about repeating myself…I asked him, “Can you believe that?” Much to his credit, he said, “Sometimes, it needs to be reinforced.” Well, thank you for that! I have been told at work, “Did you not say that before?” or something like that. That’s all!

Update-I wrote this ahead of Hurricane Ian and scheduled early to publish but as it happened the best made plans were bound to change. Life is a throw of the dice and we hope to win, mostly. After Hurricane Ian, all bets are off but we remain in the process of clean up. Pictures after our clean up from hurricane Ian.

Newly planted!
The plumeria is no longer there and was one of 18 bags to go from clean up resulting in a cleaner more chiseled look, easier to take care of.
Husband found a great after hurricane sale in the garden department at Lowes picking up the planter and an orange torch ginger for a great price!
Cherry tree saved by a trim.

“Take a breath and breathe” is good advice for the morning after Hurricane Ian blew through. Husband hammered down a shutter from the front window which came loose. I ran to the backyard and saw that we lost branches from our cherry tree and that our smaller tree in the container had turned sideways. Husband joined me speaking, “I think I can fix that like we did in the front yard.”

Then I took the pug for a walk in the neighborhood meeting some of our neighbors. We all agreed we had been lucky. A few branches were down but we were okay. We had never lost electricity, only for a few minutes. We talked about the 1921 hurricane which hit Tampa very hard when it was mostly an uninhabited area.

Husband was outside when I returned. He was bagging palm fronds, branches from the front driveway. I watched him for awhile and then ran back in to take some photos of the back yard before joining him to bag items from our driveway. We bagged ten bags and then he used his blower and blew the front yard. It is 69 degrees out there. When he heard the beautiful weather expected for the weekend, he said “Good time to work on the backyard.” Inwardly, I moaned but I realize we were lucky as I heard about people going to Orlando but now floodwater was affecting the roadways. Hurricane Ian has now moved on to Saint Augustine.

The hurricane is fickle and hard to predict. Husband is talking about propping up the tree. We shall see. I will take some photos and post.

We respect the forces of nature and as we move forward look forward to the last day of hurricane season: November 1st.  One of my friends laughed and mentioned that he now knew the hurricane was referred to as ‘Ion” and I quickly said, “I am doing too many things at once. “ I was also feeling mild hysteria and nerves as we listened to the howl of the wind outside. What I learned is to again appreciate the big things and focus on one thing at a time as I lay in bed last night reviewing my whole work schedule, my husband’s health, the walk with the pug, and the hurricane fate of those in Fort Myers, and Captiva.

Prayers to those on the front line and those directly impacted by Hurricane Ian. Thank you for reading.

Cherry tree lost big branches and must be cut.

Woman and coupons: the other day, I received coupons in the mail. I love coupons, so I began to clean out my old file of coupons for nearby restaurants. I asked my husband, “If I should keep one?” He hates when I ask him these questions. During the hurricane preparation, I asked him “Should we bring this in or tie it down?”

He said to me, “You are an intelligent woman. You can make that decision.” He was in the middle of doing something else. I thought, “Yeah, I’m intelligent but I like keeping to the coupon decision rather than the bigger hurricane one.” I was thinking ‘can this be a projectile?’

We think differently: men and woman. There is an expression I ran across recently “Not my circle lifestyle guru.” Yeah, we can marry, live together, make decisions but those small things divide us sometimes. Like with yoga and acupuncture. I am convinced that acupuncture helps my right hip which is weak, as does yoga. My husband is glad it is helping but he remains a little suspicious of acupuncture. So, I take the easier route and when I visit I try not to glowingly talk about my acupuncturist because it sounds as if I really am crazy about him. And then my husband found out, he also teaches yoga at my health club facility. I think he rolled his eyes but I wasn’t quick enough to catch him but then again, that is my tell.

Oh, no…we need a little humor these days. I was not able to play my video of the hard rain hitting our garden late afternoon yesterday but I found this. It does explain some of our thoughts, not all. Disclaimer: we are taking Hurricane Ian seriously but where it will land is off to bets.

Wishing everyone the best!

Hurricane Ian is on its way. It slammed Cuba as a category 3 storm and now has sights set on Florida. Hurricane Ian was also named in 2016. If I had the inclination I would search for what happened, but right now I am shell stocked as we tie down items, move in items, and the husband is off for some supplies at Home Depot. Mike just returned from buying bags of pine bark and mulch to load against the garage door and our front door in case we have a storm surge. We are not in an evacuation zone and are up high but the water has been known to seep nearer to our door. Stay tuned. Garage door is locked and we are in for the day.

And my favorite.

The days before a hurricane is beautiful. The fall before the storm: the sun shines, there is an eerie silence, the birds collect their feed, the crickets chirp and then there is an eerie silence … the only rush to be heard in the stores as customers clear the shelves of water, canned vegetables and stock up. Hurricane Ian is on the way. Where will he land?

EEny mEEny Mino mo…and the shopping for water, supplies, canned goods is on. Stay safe.

Update-Now on track for Northern Florida.

And add 10 points for time in Florida.

And that is why they sell winter coats in Florida.

I love the little quips my husband makes as they ring true and make me smile. I was reminiscing about working for a buyer at Sak’s Fifth Avenue, New York City. It was one of my first jobs and so glamorous, at least in theory. My last blog was about thrift shopping with my mom. My mom had an excellent eye for fashion and style having worked as a stylist for several well-known photographers including Francisco Scavullo (before he became well known) and also for NBC studio. She introduced her sister to the Eileen Ford agency and my aunt graced the pages of Seventeen Magazine.

When I was growing up, I felt the allure of glamour, and mystique in the small Catskill town listening to my mom’s stories of life in the city and her jobs. My father would roll his eyes as I practiced fashion in front of the big mirror trying on clothes, belts, shoes, and even trying on my mom’s suits. It is no wonder that halfway through my college program that I looked into studying fashion and thought of designing and going to the Fashion Institute of Technology.

I visited the school in Manhattan with a college friend. Unfortunately, I discovered I had no talent for drawing or design and decided to remain majoring in English Literature. When I returned after graduation to the City, I searched for a job recommended by a friend and settled in. It was not too long before I remembered my first passion: clothing and realizing that I was in the fashion capital, New York and searched for a job in the garment district. I began as a buyer’s clerical and eventually landed a job at Sak’s working with the buyer’s department.

I remember the glamour and also the nitty gritty of crunching numbers, counting merchandise, and the details of the day. I never realized how tedious and hardworking buyers were. They kept a strict eye on their inventory and how to merchandise so as to catch the eye of the consumer. So, the other day, I remarked to my husband, “Buyer. That was a job I really would have enjoyed!” We were talking about the mundane work days and how long they seemed. All those details and meetings, paperwork. My husband remarked, “They don’t have the job of being a buyer nowadays.”
I remarked, “Why?” He said, “It is automated.”

And then he remarked, “And that is why they sell winter coats in Florida.”

It is true. The human touch and mind cannot make this mistake but the computer can. It is a never ending source of confusion to enter a store in Florida where winter items are being sold. The only ones buying are the snowbirds.

NBC days
Glamour May 1964 Francesco Scavullo.
My interest in every country visited…what are they wearing?

I was happy to read recently about several celebrities who enjoyed thrift shops. The first thrift shops I was introduced to were in New York City, on the Upper Eastside. My mom and I would take the short line bus from the nearest city to our small town in the Catskills and 2.5 hours later, we would arrive on 42nd street hustling to leave this area, take the train to Queens and settle into my grandmother’s apartment. We would buy delicatessen items and settle in for the long haul-2 or 3 days in the city thrift shopping. We would walk everywhere once we hit Manhattan and of course visit museums, Lord & Taylor, Alexanders, and of course, thrift shops located in great areas.

My mom was a trend setter because not everyone bragged about going to the thrift shops or wore any indication of needing assistance as a status symbol. Back then, I had no idea at my school who received free lunches and who might be receiving government assistance. It was not something to be proud of or tell others or even to indicate you needed help. We knew in our village who needed help. As a child, I never knew if they received help but we knew who was struggling. My family was not struggling but my mom was careful with money, so she wanted me to look nice. I was the only girl raised with older brothers. We shopped carefully buying at marked down racks at old big name department stores like Alexanders, Lord & Taylors searching for bargains.

We loved going to the Thrift shops together and then afterwards, we would stop in at Chock Full of Nuts for coffee and a bagel with cream cheese. We would people watch. My mom taught me how to find bargains in the thrift shops. We perused the jewelry counters, found new pairs of shoes used once and then with the tags still on, thrown away. We looked for good labels and good quality clothing. We found some interesting jewelry which I kept. One was a copper bracelet with a dragon head and little emerald eyes. I keep meaning to have someone look at it and tell me the origin and the worth of it but somehow it was always off to the corner of my thoughts and I forget. I do enjoy wearing it on special occasions. I remember one time my mom asking my brother’s wife to return an item for her at the thrift shop. I gather my mom was thrifty and having no need for the item decided to return it, so someone else could use the shoes. She did much to my brother’s chagrin endearing herself to my mom.

Over time, going thrifting became trendy and in style as did admitting you needed help. I see it often on social media pages and my first instinct is to note how much times have changed. Sometimes I think of the families who needed help. Recently, I heard that one of the daughters retired from the Navy and was doing well. I remember the little business my family owned and my mom adding a extra dap of whipped cream, strawberries, chocolate to the banana split sundae. I figured our town watched out for some and they knew all along what they were doing. I have included some photos of celebrities and their reasons for thrifting. I like Lorde’s best.

I still enjoy going to thrift shops and find great items. I have dry cleaned stylish pants, blouses, and had alterations to some items. Sometimes it is even about the discoveries, finding out the eccentricities people buy and used or how we are all more similar than we figure. I head for the book section and sometimes the clothing area. From time to time, I score brand new items with the tags still on. For me, it is much better than Amazon and a great way to score entertainment and a few good buys. I have found some great artwork, globes, etc., and a few other items for the home. Our home is full and we no longer need many of these items but it is still a great way visiting a new area to get a feel of the lay of the land by going to the local thrift shop.

And you never know what you might find. On a sadder note, after my mom passed away and my dad was living in Nevada near one of my brothers, he decided to get rid of some stuff before traveling to visit me in Florida, so he piled some things in a suitcase and delivered it to the nearest thrift shop. I believe my mom was approving this move up above as she passed away two years before him. As for my journals and photo albums, sometimes I wonder if they might also end up in a thrift shop as my families collection of memories seems to end with me. The memory taker.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the weekend!

Nobody jumped to edit my first completed book, but I wanted to let you know that I asked a few bloggers and some attempted and some put it on the back burner. I understand. They are retired and editing is work, so I get it. The good news is there is someone I worked with and he now publishes books! Yay! He offered to publish my book and I signed a contract. Right now he is editing my book for me. Stay tuned for news. I will give you tidbits as we continue but you must be listening. I told him to take his time as I am busy working and have a few pans on the burner.

Meanwhile, I wanted to sing my praise to Jeani Rector who publishes The Horror Zine. The publication is interesting and they do accept fiction, poetry and art. This month she also discusses reputable publishers that don’t require a literary agent. I would definitely recommend subscribing to the Zine. I am honored to be published by her in the past and to be named ‘poet of the month’ for my work.

I was looking for a new file cabinet and found some of my old poetry written ages ago. Here is my share:

Tea is for ladies

a sip of persimmon

and then utter silence.

Tea isn’t for bosses

tea is for subtlety

mixture of sweet amber liquidity.

and a favorite of mine “South of the Border” which was published by a weekly newspaper operating near the Gulf of Mexico, a beautiful area introducing me to the South.


lying nestled in orange crates

Two halves

half by half by half

One by one along to eight on eight

Claws picked out by tweezers

Nestled in a bed of lettuce next to the Times Picayune

Playing words and joining spirit

Saluting a tumbler of ice cold beet

And your neighbors down South.

I follow another blogger who asks at the end ‘what we learned this week?” What I learned is that I am one of the crazy honest viewers who publishes ‘what I learned’ and everyone else a) likes her post b) chooses to comment on someone’s answer. It reminds me of a game, “Who will jump first?” Sometimes, you get pushed if no one jumps. Sometimes you get pulled into a conversation, hmmm….but what is the fun of sharing if the other doesn’t or if they don’t jump. So someone ends up doing the jumping or more of the risk taking. Hmmmm…My husband told me the best question to ask those if asked an inappropriate question: Why? So the next time I am walking and the little Eastern European man asks me something inappropriate like my age, my work status, married, etc. Ask ‘why’. I am thinking why did I not think of that? Hmm. I was raised to be polite and answer questions, mostly. But the real question is ‘why does he want to know that?’

I found this blog from a blogger who stopped posting about a year ago. Sometimes I peruse her blog to see is she is till there and she is not but I am reposting this from her blog because I enjoyed reading it. I especially enjoyed how she tied in the end to something personal and encouraging you to offer any life lessons we can use. Thanks for reading and to blogger, Suzy. I hope you are reading this and we hear from you soon.

I am reading and reading this book written by Anglo Indian writer Ruskin Bond called “Crazy times with Uncle Ken”.

One of the chapters has a list of proverbs created by the author’s grandmother which she had put up on her pantry door in Dehradun, a small town on the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. Some are funny and some make you think. Here they are:

  1. Light supper make long lives.

2. Better a small fish than an empty dish.

3. There is skill in all things, even in making porridge.

4. Eating and drinking should not keep men from thinking.

5. Dry bread at home is better than roast meat abroad.

6. A good dinner sharpens the wit and softens the heart.

7. Let not your tongue cut your throat. ( I didn’t understand this one, but all the others seem simple home truths and commonsense. “

Let me know if you understand the last one or have proverbs you or a loved one has made up but has life lessons, any of us can use.

“Hanging on a flagpole is a matter of balance.”

“It is the one sided deal we make with ourselves.”

In Plain Sight is the binge worthy series which is moving me forward these days after a long day of work. We are nearing the last two episodes as there are 5 seasons on Prime. The series focuses on the life of witnesses placed in Wit Sec. We follow the two investigators as they protect those relocating to Albuquerque. The fast paced drama is full of quips like the ones above which add to the show. The series revolves around Mary Shannon, a Deputy United States Marshal attached to the Albuquerque, New Mexico, office of the Federal Witness Security Program, more commonly known as the Federal Witness Protection Program. (Wikipedia).

Last night, after a long week of setting up my classroom, learning a new curriculum, and the additional responsibilities of writing IEPs for my students, I was ready for a new life. And that is what watching In Plain Sight did for me. I was transported to another world with witty quips, and an inspector with a complex home life. Both were bound to keep my mind on the moment.

In Plain Sight

Sometimes that is all we need when we are hanging on to a flagpole and as one of the characters mentioned last night, “We dress according to whom we want to be.” Because, you know, in between I was figuring out what to wear, what to eat, and how to juggle all the balls which were not connecting. Which one hopes, over time, will….and sometimes in the face of changes and adapting, it is nice to enjoy the seemingly normal like choosing the right outfit, coordinating your morning breakfast, or baking a low carb keto dish.

That’s all folks, I am still around. Let me know if you turn on In Plain Sight and let me know what you think. I am disappointed the series was cancelled as is often the case of changes and adapting. Once you adapt and just in time, become adept things change. What has been your strongest adaption that you have recently encountered and met the challenge, head on? How do you cope with fast changes while maintaining normal?

I found this old posting from when social media was the rage and we were current. I remembered how lucky we were. I am getting ready to return to work next week and like most teachers I have a corner or two set aside in our home with things to hang up, cleaning supplies, and papers to hand out. I have spend a few weeks using my laminator, having posters blown up, and making copies along with plans. I have learned that it is best to have some kind of plan but anticipate most plans fall short. Then, you must improvise and adapt. There will be a new school which has retained me in a VE/ESOL push in/pull out position; so, there is that. I interviewed over the summer and was happy to land the position. I am a little anxious working at getting my body and mind in shape for the next couple of weeks. The chair yoga and a visit to the acupuncturist helped with the hip pain. I had to remind myself last night of the many good things which came with new knowledge, new experiences and new serendipities. So, I posted this. See below. Thanks for reading and have a good weekend. Thanks also for allowing me by this blog to ‘scrape the peas off my plate’, so I move forward.

July 29, 2015

This is Michael’s posting on his facebook. I copied it because I know I seemed slightly hysterical the last week without him and running the store and without a car but this is what has been going on. And if you need to get checked out, do!

I am out of the hospital finally, My recovery will be slow, and Hope it is all over.

This is what happened and it is worth the read, because God walked into our house last month, sat on the couch, and told me something needed to be fixed. I know this to be true because of a single phone call.

It was the VA hospital, and they wanted to know if I was interested in becoming a part of a new procedure being tested that would replace the need for colonoscopies. I was 6 years into my 10 year cycle and in no rush to get one I did not need, but they explained that I was over 50, and over 5 years since my last. I said okay, let’s do this. Turns out I was part of the control group and would be getting the “old” kind, not the new “take a pill” kind. So they set it up for two weeks away.

Came the day of the procedure, and all went well. Woke up in recovery, was discharged and went home. No sooner had we closed the door than the phone started to ring off the hook. More than once. They had “found” something. They would not say what, just that it needed a re-look. Okay. Let’s re-look.

I was given little information about what, but was scheduled very quickly for a surgical consult. What? Who said anything about surgery? Well, as it turns out, a bunch of doctors had. I figured I would wait until my consult to find out the details, discuss with Eve our options, and make a decision based on the information they provided. Wrong.

My consult was not really a consult, because I was not being consulted. The Doc explained the details, and sent me to the lab. Then the neurologist, then an anesthesiologist, and the head nurse, then the cardiologist….you get the picture. This was more like prep than a consult. And it was. When I asked the doc when we could decide, she looked at me and said that was going in Wednesday. Period.

From what I could gather, it turns out there was some little cells that were misbehaving and looking to do some ugly damage to the area where my colon meets my small intestine (there is some valve there), and although they were not being aggressive cells, they would at some point go looking for a good time. So, they took out the valve and a bunch of colon (a foot) to isolate and eliminate the threat and the doc said it is less than a 3% chance of becoming anything more.

Now, if I had not gotten the call, or opted to not participate, or come up on the “pill” side of the test, it would have been YEARS before they would have scheduled me, and no telling the damage, but I am guessing that I would have had little chance of this going away on its own.

Only God can put that many variable in play and have it work out for me.

Update: Husband is around being treated successfully because the cancer was discovered. Store is closed but we have been through some trying times and survived. We are still here, still together moving forward.

The husband bought a few lottery tickets-as we got up this morning, I asked him, ‘where did you buy them?’ He told me, ‘the gas station on the corner.’

‘Oh, we never have luck there.’

‘It’s all random.’

I kind of believed it. Kismet though is not a number. It turns out we did hit 3 of the numbers and on a separate line one of the multipliers, so we won $12 back from the $20 spent. I thought it was pretty amazing to match 3 of the numbers!!

There is no winner for the jackpot and the pot today was $487.9 million. That is an obscene amount of dollars to control. I hope the person, people or corporation who win it (as many are buying the store) know how to spend it responsibly. If you can, as I guess common sense might be frittered away after you pay off the necessities.

It is a beautiful day out there. I am reading a good book which is part of a series: Rachel Hatch written by L.T. Ryan and Brian Shea. I am on book 2: Downburst. She is kind of like a female Jack Reacher who takes me on a good voyage and out of my line of comfort, , kind of like if I won the jackpot. Although to read her requires no advisors (financial) of any sort, just imagination. Reading series now is something I am enjoying. Perhaps I am reminded of summers years ago reading all the Nancy Drew Series and then Chronicles of Narnia.

Our side yard is easier to handle. The side yard was a mess. Unfortunately, no before pics. Mother in laws tongue (See photo below frog) Snake plant or Mother-in-laws tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata) Origin: West Africa: toxic to cats and dogs. We planted one when we first arrived believing it would be a good plant to protect the small window before we were recognized as being in a popular area. It grew, grew and was a mess to weed after I planted cactus. The husband attacked it one day last week and this is what we put in. Thank you, thank you! That was an ugly but needed job.

Hostas: manageable and no weeding. My frog moved from backyard to front.

Kismet: noun, often capitalized. Arabic roots. Synonyms include: fortune, fate, lot, circumstance, destiny.

I do believe in a little kismet but I believe more that no one is going to give me the monies today and I will most likely not win the monies ( a fortune) as many are in the race, also. If I do, it is kismet; meant to be and I will most likely be hiding somewhere nice, with a martini and a chef nearby thanking ‘kismet.’ And I will take my husband with me, maybe a few friends or family to enjoy the ride will know my location in hiding. It will be most likely a mountain, near the ocean, lots of books nearby. That is all I am going to say or maybe I will stay ‘hiding in plain sight’ and keep on going in our neighborhood. It is fun to write fiction, isn’t it?

Until then, we keep on trekking, pulling weeds, taking care of the details, as the summer nears the end. Enjoy!

“Forgive my asking you to use your mind. It is a thing which no novelist should expect of his reader…”
― Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains

Laughter and tears are both responses to
frustration and exhaustion. I myself
prefer to laugh, since there is less
cleaning up to do afterward. (Kurt Vonnegut)

“Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell.” Emily Dickinson

“What’s my line?”
“Saying nothing sometimes says the most.” Emily Dickinson

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson

Got Custard? Enjoy your weekend!

When my father came to live with us the last years of his life, he told me ‘I want to ride the roller coaster’ indicating Busch Gardens. I would grimace and think, ‘hmmmm…’ My husband was not eager to ride the roller coaster, either. This week, my husband’s brother stayed for the week becoming more familiar with both of us and the area. He loved it but he expressed no desire to ride the roller coaster or go to Busch Gardens.

We visited the new pier in Saint Petersburgh and did some walking.
Although it looks cool, it was hard to find a breeze. When we could, we took the trolley or gulf cart.
We did some walking and touring of old Northeast and ate seafood including smoked fish, shrimp kebabs and scallops. He was introduced to our state pie: key lime.

We spend lots of time talking and he loved our garden. I was happy he made the visit. I thought of my dad the first day and remembered during the time he came that we were very busy attending graduate school and working two jobs. I can’t say for sure if I took the dare and rode the roller coaster with him but in my dreams, I did. I accepted the challenge, and I can visualize strapping myself in the car and then screaming as the car danced slowly up the steep hill and then rushed to the bottom with me screaming and my father laughing.

I thought, ‘yeah, my dad the risktaker and I wondered if he wasn’t sending me a message he learned early growing up in New York ‘Take the ride. Accept the risk. Strap yourself in and open your eyes. Scream, as needed.’ I like to think I took that last ride with him but I am not sure if I just blanked it out because the times were so busy and the road was so steep.

And that is what family does for you. Makes you think. And sometimes, they make you appreciate more what you have.

In the month of July, I do appointments: medical, dental, hair, and what not. Because I will return to work in August as a teacher. It is kind of funny because I have a hard time pulling the trigger on a hairdresser. I always anticipate a better deal around the corner and of course, I come armed with a photo. I scream outrage over the prices, especially when one requested a down payment for balayage hair. That was scary leading me to investigate the local academies of hairdressing and group on. The husband was listening to me for about 2 hours or more reviewing this and looking into a nearby acupuncturist for my hip and knee which is hurting.

He said, “Let me try” when I mentioned to him all the information required for the acupuncturist. He found one, called, put me on the line. When I balked at the $30 more asked than the first one, he shook his head and said, “take it.” He pulled the trigger and I followed through booking the appointment, half furious and half relieved. The only thing which bothered him was it was not as close to the house as they had moved. Then, the hair dresser: we discussed it and he asked ‘what about the guy nearby….he meant the Lebanese hairdresser who does a steadily wonderful job with cutting my blonde locks. I said, “I don’t know, maybe his prices have gone up too much.” He said, “Call them.” So, I did and he told me the price which I repeated. The husband said, “Take it.”

I did. And so, he pulled the trigger, again. Being cautious is a good thing but At this point in life, I have to know how to give the trigger a pull more often. I was so fussy about the acupuncturist that I was looking for a specific person similar to the treatment and what not I received in Korea. The same with the hair, so I gave in to a well styled cut, bought my own hair color at CVS and planned on half balayage later on about a month into the year. As for the acupuncture, the husband encouraged me, ‘get the treatment.’ I will be on my feet and moving quickly, hopefully during the coming months so I need to put my best foot forward. The VA has determined through scans there is nothing physically wrong with my hips, so the treatment will help. It did me good in Korea! And he is qualified. I just have to go with my gut more often and pull the dang trigger when I can!

Thanks for listening!

“Where there are cupcakes, there is life.” Found this quote from the blast of the past. The “Night Howl” was one of our favorites and my creation: chocolate cake stuffed with caramel and brewed coffee, then topped with an expresso frosting that in my husband’s words ‘is sure to delight the coffee drinkers most discriminating taste buds, and also give you an energy jolt to get you going again.’

I kept all our menus and they read like the leading credits of a film: Fox’s Delight; Sleepy Hollow: Citronic Blast: Orange Dreamsicle; Dade City Wrangler; Federal Mint: Brownie Rebellion...etc. How did we come up with the names and the stuffing? Some of the iconic names were penned by my husband and some by me. For example: I came up with the insides: mango, vanilla and granola and the husband found the name: Last Mango in Paris. He owned all the snicker doodle dandy, mudslinger, m & m’s gone wild…and came up with the Seedless Watermelon (which was filmed by A & E!!) There was a blogger I followed a long time ago who inspired me. He claimed that he and his wife of “Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes” in New Jersey were the originators of the stuffed cupcake. He was also a poet and wrote an interesting blog. Such is the stuff of memories to keep us sharp, together, and moving forward.

We will have one guest for the next week from my husband’s side of the family and it has been awhile. So, we are preparing the grill and the home for company. I keep thinking of things I want to tell all the bloggers and relate to my blog as I might not be posting for a week. I remember that I promised the recipe for the 3 ingredient yogurt cake. Here is the link.

As for my book, I am waiting to hear more from the publishing house I sent it to. I lied to everyone: the book is not entirely fiction and you know it is my memories which include a character who has owned a cupcakerie with her husband who happens to be retired military. Lets say I use characteristics which depict people and settings familiar to me with my main characters. Some are entirely made up. I would not be a writer if I did not know how to utilize fully my experiences. Each day is a story and some years, we have more stories to tell than than other years.

I expect with my husband’s brother arriving next week, the stories will begin again and we will catch up on some years. Until then, keep on creating new stories and eat well! The best, Ms. E. Last thought of the day: whether I am published by a publishing house or self published, I wonder if I should print my real photo or will be a character playing me….hmm, remembering that some authors seem more like movie star attractive in their photos. I leave you something to think about. Thanks for listening!

I saw a quote the other day, “If you are afraid, you are on the right path.” I wrote it down as it seemed like something I needed to remember all those times I feel afraid. To treat fear as something to be embraced because it teaches us and we adapt. To break a big job into smaller components-and look fear in the eyes.

Walking into new situations, like the beginning of a new school year, a new class, or a new school, trying out a new health club, finding directions in the middle of rush hour traffic, getting lost temporarily. Being afraid to take a small risk, feeling penned in, adapting ‘all or nothing’ mindset. My husband and I play the slot machine at the Seminole Casino differently. He has a system and plays systematically never varying often from his bet while I analyze the situation looking for the corner machine and then returning to one I am comfortable with after I take in all the photos and the new added memorabilia of the Hard Rock Casino area. I peruse the menus, the people, view the hard bitten and the ones there for entertainment. When I play the machine, I begin small but then I take bigger risks and play all lines finally anting up $1.00 on one bet on a Nickle machine with a bet of 20 lines. The mathematics of it seem logical but I know it is luck meeting patience. We come with a small set amount and when it is gone, we leave. We are here for the entertainment.

In the car, we spoke of our different styles. I hope to win big and play randomly switching numbers, pressing buttons, etc. Michael is the systematic player and often he hits. When I hit, I hit big (sometimes) but so has he. I don’t like to be systematic. I want to see it is chance, opportunity. As I view the crowd around me, I notice the interesting characters. We speak briefly of my brother and how we might find him in the poker room as he is skilled with this. I think of James Holzhauer, his poker face, and his “all in” gesture. We acknowledge there is a difference between a skilled poker player and someone just playing or pushing the button. I argue vehemently that with my random system, I might hit very big, one day. We have different styles but we appreciate the other’s style. Usually we don’t sit together, so we can’t comment on the other’s style and jinx them. Different styles, different comments. He tells me he has spend $20 and is up to $60. I text back, “Where are we going to spend it?” I take my time and leisurely sit down but my monies go quicker as my bets are bigger. Pure entertainment.

It is still a good morning out. Best deal of the day though was a small tucked away bookstore: garden book, cozy mystery, Tom Clancy’s Commander-in-chief for a total of 4.50-with a .50 cents tip. A family café tucked away in the same non-descript plaza, a little run down but the café was beautiful inside. Hot, hot day and now it will rain, so it was a great day to be out and about. Summertime.

Interesting story: I thought of changing my introduction to my blog. My husband said, “I don’t want you to forget about cancer and push it aside. It is important to remember.” A lot has changed since we closed in 2015. I have been published in a few more places including “The Writing Disorder” for “Listening to the Voice”; “Spillwords” for “Laughing Africa” and “The Stray Branch” for “The Spirit is Willing.” I was nominated by Spillwords for ‘writer of the month.’ Why was I thinking of changing? Because life has changed and we are still going strong. In the end, I decided to keep what I had. I remember every time I have messed with something already set up including writing, I seem to go ‘one step forward and two steps back.’

We are a small husband/wife gourmet cupcake place. Our inspiration comes from our eclectic background. I taught in Abu Dhabi for one year and spent time visiting cupcake spots with character. Mike has trained with an award winning culinary arts team and had the honor of working with James Beard prior to his time as an Intelligence Analyst travelling through the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and Asia with the United States Army. His MBA certainly helps us with the small business arena. My mom won awards for her down home cooking. I read cookbooks for fun and grew us in a small business arena in the heart of the Catskill Mountains. My family owned the local “gertrude’s” ice cream shop. My current background is as an English/ESOL Instructor. Prior to that, I worked in Merchandising in the Garment District and held other jobs including a manager of a bookstore in Orange Beach, Alabama. We try to do one thing and do it well. Come visit. (Update) Our store closed last December  (2015) after Michael was diagnosed with cancer. It was caught early and hopefully it will stay in remission. We cut back on our hours and eventually we followed the doctor’s recommendation for a life with less stress and closed our store. I still love writing, and teaching English, so you’ll see me around and I hope you will continue reading the blog. With the store closed, I found more time to write and was able to get published. I am now a published writer on Amazon, so if you google me, the publications will come up. Michael and I are enjoying a life with less stress and finding more time to get some important things done like enjoying down time. You haven’t heard the last of us! Published writer of fiction/non-fiction and poetry: The Bella Online Literary Review; “Down in the Dirt” magazine v 144 (April 2017); “The Horror Zine” Summer 2017 hardback; “Mused Literary Review” (2017) and “The Stray Branch.” (Fall/winter 2017) We found out this past July 2017 that his cancer has returned but the VA has a plan for his cancer which has now metastasized in his small intestine stage 4. Stay with me for the journey as friends who listen are appreciated.

Thank you for listening.

Update: I am trying to publish a book of fiction and in the process of looking for a publisher I sometimes feel the need to change a few things. I am hopeful to find a good editor and publisher for my fictional story. What I have learned is that family and friends don’t always want to edit, so there is that….I have been busy working but during the summer, I have send out query letters to a few literary agents and publishers. I appreciate my husband’s words to me last night. He asked me if I had read the latest “Reader’s Digest” and he quoted: “There is no best musician, best artist, best dancer, best actor. The arts are subjective….It’s like a song or an album is made and it almost has a radar to find the person when they need it most.” -Jon Batiste, Musician, At the 64th Annual Grammy Awards

‘Ain’t that the truth?” and so the beat continues…..We shall see….I wrote in response to another blogger’s comments that most questions, real questions, can be answered by yes or no. Are we still alive? Yes. Answering beyond that required more thought and research as to why some people get cancer, etc. but for for now I am happy to say, “Yes” we are still going strong. Both of us. Thank you for reading.

Birds do attend to the bird bath as do stray cats visit. In the back is our remade post box.
Our first year, someone took a bat to our brick mailbox, so husband hauled it o our garden and we turned it into a pot. Talking again with the husband this morning, actually someone backed into the mailbox, so it was not a baseball bat but ‘someone backing into it with a car’ and we turned it into an ornament. This happened before we moved it and was one of the very first things we did to the house and it ‘got our backyard started.’ We lived here for so long my story got mixed up!
A place to think.
Desert Rose blooming
Planted hostas with flowers ready to bloom.
Zig Zag cactus
This is a beautiful cactus which when it blooms will bloom white flowers. It usually bloom during the night. Cereus cactus.
The mail box receives lots of rain and no longer is on the mail circuit and our new mailbox is untouched.

As promised, pictures of our renovated mailbox to an interested blogger. We took a left over and made it into something we can appreciate. And our new mailbox is cemented into a pot and left alone. So many years ago, we seized the opportunity and the plants keep on growing. If you click on ‘Post Box Project’ you can pictures of the new one.

We went nursery shopping. I found an interesting place to peruse through the web but the more interesting place was discovered by chance. A nursery we bought hostas, healthy and ready to bloom, for our side yard and we explored a sunflower field. Sometimes at the bigger stores, they are not quite like the ones you find in nurseries. You either hit pay dirt or you languish waiting for your opportunity to seize the plant. We found the perfect opportunity in a small family run nursery in Plant City-and then stopped for Cubans at a cute place called Strawberry Hut Sandwich Shop where the line was long, the price was right and we ate on a picnic table. The temperature was 95 degrees!! Hot, hot, hot…but we felt we get what we came for. Enjoy the summer!

Florida nursery -a gem in the rough
We almost bought this but this can be hard to control-ornamental fountain grass.

Another blogger asked this recently and if the definition of ‘love’ had changed. I replied that ‘I thought with each new decade and culture, love changes.’ Then, I found an old memo I kept and decided to repost because so much is true. Sometimes I have felt guilty and awkward about having separate interests but what Paul Newman said still rings true. Perhaps the best of ‘love’ is fluid and mercurial but it is the solidness which you remember. The longer you have been a couple, you realize this. Just as I have come to realize that sometimes silence between couples is not a bad thing-when you feel comfortable enough to say nothing.

Paul Newman

“I’ve repeatedly said that for people with as little in common as Joanne and myself, we have an uncommonly good marriage. We are actors. We make pictures and that’s about all we have in common. Maybe that’s enough …

“Husbands and wives should have separate interests, cultivate different sets of friends and not impose on the other. …You can’t spend a lifetime breathing down each other’s necks.”

Marilyn Monroe

“Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist, there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which, in my book, is a good definition for friendship.”

Sylvester Stallone

“Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people, you can set your watch by them. And that’s love, even if it doesn’t seem very exciting.”

Billie Holiday

“Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen and I was three.”


“My advice to you is get married: If you find a good wife, you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher.”

Elizabeth Taylor

“My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.”

Alfred Hitchcock

“The ideal husband understands every word his wife doesn’t say.”

Welcome to our domain…

Through the garden, we move….silently….

into the domain, we move silently seeking respite…

we found an upside down pail and drilled a hole to hang…

No need to water as hurricane season begins with afternoon rains…

Sometimes the universe surprises you…

as the garden comes into its own…..

Steps leading nowhere, ultimately somewhere for someone

We often weed, down on our hands and knees…

The Birds, the Birds; No fear for squirrels as they cannot enter.
The lilies only need bulbs and replant, rebloom…

We found the right feeder with the dome to keep out the bushy tails.

Handle with care. Picasso’s paintbrush, we don’t always remember the names of the plants but we remember to water, cut back, trim, and take care of that which nourishes us.

Picture postcard perfect today.
Found the sunflowers….again….but never in the same location….

I like the idiosyncrasies of our domain. I like the ability to chose where to display items and unlike where I must confirm to rules, regulations regarding height of flowers, width of park bench: the quirks are ours to choose and this makes it a place to call home. Most of all, I like the ability to move and rearrange as it suits us. Thanks for reading.

Recipe by: Hilary Meyer

Low-carb gluten English Muffins (great for breakfast)


5 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 pound) 1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cauliflower in a good processor. Process until finely grated. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely and microwave on High for 3 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer the cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel and wring out excess moisture. Return to the bowl and stir in Cheddar, egg and salt until thoroughly combines. Place a 2-inch biscuit cutter on the prepared baking sheet. Fill the cutter with about 1/4 cup of the batter, patting down slightly in the mold. Repeat with the remaining batter, leaving about 1 inch between each one, until you have 8 “muffins.”
  3. Bake until browned and crispy around the edges, about 25 minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings or use to make a breakfast sandwich.

3 ingredient Yogurt Cake is the last picture-3 ingredients and it doesn’t require flour, butter or oil! The batter takes only 5 minutes to prepare and you don’t even need a mixer to make it. (Recipe to follow-next week). So, now you know how I enjoy my summer vacation-a little gardening, finding the sunflowers, reading a good book, some baking of keto and a few other things. Husband mentioned if we had the store still, we would definitely sell out with the Yogurt Cake. In retrospect, it is more fun to try out at home and be an armchair dessert sampler.

Is there a job for this? What dream job have you thought about recently? Are you enjoying your summer?

“She is always able to spin everything into a positivity. She didn’t have an enemy in the world. When she walked into a room, the room smiled.” Those impossible platitudes we often hear on 48 hours or at a final retirement article. Recently, we heard them weekly about a news anchor in our area who was retiring after 33 years or so on the air. There were many platitudes and tribute played about her long career covering news in the Middle East, travelling to Asia and being part of our hometown. It was nice to see and to recognize that reporters were not always piranhas and the villains they are portrayed today as “stretching the truth.” At one point, they were our voice and our ear, honestly tuned to the street without any agenda (real or imagined) in mind.

My husband told me a story of meeting her and her husband in an airport in Oklahoma. He mentioned how petite she was and that her husband was friendlier, willing to trade stories and hunker down for awhile but she kept urging him, “We have to go. We have to catch a plane.” As he told the story, I could imagine the scene easily and it led me to wondering this: in a relationship, there is always the pragmatist and the idealist. The pragmatist urges ‘lets move forward and get it done’ and the idealist laments the things that often cannot be changed.

This year, this academic year was rough for me with a very challenging new position, new paperwork in a turnaround school which is code for ‘get ready for changes’ at any minute, so I tried my best to be flexible and on drill or whatever. Inevitably, at times I was exhausted, crabby at home and felt unconnected. When I could, I read voraciously, drank my coffee, keto-ed, slept, and did my best to stay healthy. My soul really felt the year as did my feet and hips.

I am the idealist and my husband is the pragmatist. As we continued the year, my husband’s quips got me through because as the pragmatist, he helped with many things needed at home. I am not retired, yet and he was an immense help to me. We got through and I realize that through the years of our marriage I had adapted many of his skill sets with thinking ahead when buying and he had adapted some of my softness or empathy at times, as the idealist. We won’t change our mindset completely but we adapted the better parts of our half. The other day I said to him, ‘I don’t really enjoy people who are positive all the day.’ We were watching about the news anchor and I said, ‘People like that have sometimes led me down a rocky path. I would prefer someone to tell me the truth without blinders on.’

He agreed. I know he likes the truth, also. And yeah, I know she had done a hell of a job for an anchor and the time of glorifying anchors and news media is over, so I can appreciate where she has been as I am of her generation but I think I would prefer chatting with her husband in the airport. At heart, I am still the idealist wanting her image to remain untainted but just a bit of reality from her other half will comfort me.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend and enjoy your summer! How about you? Do you prefer someone to spin the truth or hear it straight, good with the bad? Do you enjoy someone always viewing the positive or do you enjoy more the pragmatist?

So about a year and a half ago, I began to have some deterioration of my right hip which I mentioned to my doctor. She retired and so, now I have a new doctor. I began with physical therapy about this time also, but did not take it seriously. Now, I do because my right hip hurts and feels the pain more. It could have been aggravated by being a teacher and constantly on my feet. I am not one to sit much and when I was an adjunct I was on my feet a lot teaching adults English Literature for 5 hours. Now, every morning I use the home program for Medbridge completing: seated slump nerve glide;hooklying clamshell with resistance; standing hip abduction 5x 15 reps, 2 sets….you get the picture. ( I should mention the deterioration was diagnosed with xrays and also, I went through a battery of tests indication deterioration and beginning of mild to moderate arthritis in the right hip).

When I first felt my problems with my right hip, I became a google junkie trying to research and self-prescribe. While still at school working, I ordered some kind of hip wear to wrap around my hip. It was very awkward with going to the restroom and then I wore different types of inserts as the Physical Therapist discovered there was a disparity in my leg length with the right leg being shorter. This could have caused problems also. Along the way, I learned to take breaks and sit but I have never been much of a sitter. I remember walking for hours wherever I end up. I love to walk when visiting cities, new places, etc. Fortunately, I am able to walk about a mile with the dog every other day. I make that a goal in addition to the physical therapy exercises. They hurt. At first, I was highly indignant that I was not 100 percent and felt extremely awkward when I had to bring a cane to my job. The halls were hard floors, and the concrete outside was hard walking on my hips. Since my job entailed that I go to other classrooms to work with students, it was very challenging at times. I was very self-conscious and exhausted by the end of the day. Then one of the teachers I work with left for another school and the classes for co-teaching were very big classes in addition to my paperwork for special education (IEPS), caseload of over 30 and two ESOL classes which kept growing in numbers. It was a lot to handle but I was prepared to slough through the year until I had something happen in which the administrator did not support me. I decided for the first time ever to take a leave of absence.

About a couple of weeks ago or so, I decided to take a leave of absence with a job (my online part time gig) with the intent to return in August to a new school. I continue to go to the Physical Therapist every other week and I now have a new appointment at the clinic for orthopedics where it appears they will look into getting me special shoes.

I won’t lie: I had a challenging time accepting my new limitations. I blamed myself: what could I have done differently? I have always been a great walker; and gone to a health club, attended many classes and enjoyed physical activity. Then I found out that my cousin, same age as me, 61 had a hip replacement. Since she was a runner and very disciplined, almost fanatic about getting her exercise in I felt better. I would like to keep going in to work and my physical job as I had intended for another 2 years but for now, I am just enjoying being at home feeling better and having the time to work on editing my book, doing a little work in the garden, and seeing what the husband is up to, really. I am reminded of that Dunkin Doughnut commercial . And yeah, he does get a few things done. I have learned that I can’t really control genetics, circumstances, etc. and about the only thing I can do is keep moving forward knowing things happen for a reason. The only one I can control is my reaction to what happened to me. Genetics, people’s loyalty, politics, and just fate move you forward and the only thing you keep intact might be a sense of humor. How about your aches and pains? Tell me about a time you tried to self-diagnosis through google.

Smart Cookie — A Berg’s Eye View

I could not resist sharing this with all my techno confused people. You know who you are. And this blog is funny!