HPIM3570This morning, I went for a walk with the pug. It was early and frost was on the rooftops of the nearby houses. I wrapped a warm scarf around me noticing the heaters puffing nearby. My black mittens seems a little clumsy as I wrapped my hands around the leash. It sounds like a normal scene of winter but we are on the Central Gulf Coast, so it wasn’t too normal nor has it been for the last week. Several days ago, it snowed in Tallahassee! For me, it is beginning to become much better than when Christmas break started, I had a very ugly cold/flu. Both of us did and for my husband receiving cancer treatment, I was very concerned but slowly we improved. His health improved before mine. I couldn’t shake the cough like the pits of a furnace starting to heat on but rumbling as if to get moving. Mike had to get a pneumonia shot and I seemed to catch some of this also. It seemed to last the entire month of December and both of us had our flu shots. We were both feeling poorly, so I haven’t been out to walk the dog in awhile, visit the gym. I have read a lot of good books, planned for the weeks to come, made some delicious hot chicken soup, chili, and slept.

When it was time for Mike to get his shot for his cancer treatment, I drove and then I went to the local Aldi’s as it poured a cold rain outside. It was ugly but I wanted to get the vegetables and the chicken to make some hot soup. After his shot, Mike has cancer fatigue and is very tired. He gets very bad migraines but since we know the shot is working and his cancer chromosome marker is lowering, it is a small point that we don’t mind. However, with both of us being under the weather this entire Christmas break, I worried about keeping our health. I watched him sleep, read, watch tv, lose his appetite, and energy. Then suddenly things seemed to improve. I believe for both of us it was the chicken soup, the comfort, the good sleep, and some time. After 3 days, the effects of the shot diminish and the headaches are gone. I am grateful that the effects of a cold do not linger and will disappear like the cold weather. The weather report for next week is that the temperature will rise to the 70’s but it during these times that we learn to appreciate what we can’t control: the weather, illness, and sometimes things just happen. And as always, I am grateful for the caring doctors and the staff at the VA Hospital and that we are both veterans.

I am finally ready to return to the gym, and feel ready to ready to return to a schedule but these last weeks have made me more aware of the importance of one of us being healthy. As a team, we are fine but over time and with incidents like this, you realize the importance of your health and feeling good. As for the pug, he keeps both of us warm and is very wise when one of us is sick. We have the heater on and I am getting ready to make some hot coffee.

Stay warm and enjoy the day.


Can you share something you learned last year in one sentence?


Rules: be simple and succinct. Don’t think too hard. Have fun.

1. I have learned to pay the extra $1 to get a large frappe at McDonald’s. I just end up drinking two drinks later on to satiate my thirst. Yes, they have discovered the secret to making a great frappe.
2. I have learned not to walk over glass bridges. Chinese tourists got more thrill than they bargained for when a panel of the 3,500′ high glass walkway they were on cracked. USA TODAY
3. I have learned to walk away with a smile when someone doesn’t return the smile.
4. I have learned not to feed stray feral cats after one attacked me.
5. I have learned not to pursue some things and to accept them as they happen instead of questioning my decisions.
6. I have learned to buy instead of regret not buying. If I come home and I am still thinking of it and I had the money, maybe I should have taken the plunge.
7. Let go of old phone numbers, email and addresses if I haven’t contacted the person in 6 months or so. There is probably a good reason I stopped communication with them.
8. If I let go of someone on my face book page, there is probably a very good reason to not allow them to become my friend again. Just like when someone gets rid of me, and then asks to again be my friend. No, hit the dust and don’t look back, no more.
9. I have learned to watch my cat carefully as she seems to have a secret life I know little about.
10. If someone doesn’t want to be found, they won’t be found. Accept and move on. Even if it is a family member.
11. I resolve to have less passwords and fewer black books with passwords and clues which serve further to stress me out even more.
12. If I need to do lesson plans or revamp my syllabus, work asap before tearing out hair. Try not to think “perfect” and “plans” together. Be flexible and adaptable: listen to the students.
13. If you see something in a strip mall in Florida, stop right there and then or turn around as the rule is once you pass, it is hard to return. Traffic in most parts of Florida is so heavy that once you leave, you won’t be able to make that turnaround so easily. Do it while you can.
14. I have learned to appreciate sport games if only because they serve as a wonderful analogy to life and beating the odds. They allow for better insight into my husband. I forgot he was a Buffalo Bill’s fan and the last time they won was the year we met. Wow. They won again and we are still together: now that is beating the odds.
15 Share something you have learned.
16.  Even if it will be number 13 on this list. And it won’t. Draw the line, walk over the glass, and allow us to trespass: the legal kind. It is cold enough that we enjoy the thinking outside the box.
Optimism is best tempered with some conservatism. As you may determine from the photos I share: we have probably all been there. Walking in the country and trespassing, ok. And the time we went over the bridge we shouldn’t have and we prayed not to look down. So, I hope the year for you is just the right balance, the right dash of salt, and the perfect mixture of all ingredients such as adventure, stability, hope, love, passion, luck, new friends, wonderful health, and if you get them all, let me know next year and I will follow your suit!It sounds like you won the card game.

Thanks for listening.

Probably the best quote I heard this year is from Voltaire,
Voltaire said “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”
Poignant and revealing words.

Dear [Bengals],” the Bills wrote in a tweet after the game.

“After we handled business in Miami, we needed you, and you came through big time. On behalf of this team, the people of the City of Buffalo, and Bills fans around the world, thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!”

“Wings on us. (No really, we’re sending wings).

“With love, the Buffalo Bills.”


Thanks for listening!It is showtime!As my husband explained to me, a lot of things had to happen for Buffalo to make it. The planets had to align, Sagittarius had to be behind Pisces and you get the idea….kind of like the year we all want.I am not a big football fan but I love when there is a 14 percent chance from Las Vegas that they would make it to the Play offs and they made it. That is beating the odds. Like I have to and can explain it…hmm but I can appreciate it.

I think it is just the right touch of inspiration I need to hear today. Sometimes despite the odds not being in our favor, landslides are saved, victories are won, and the victor is those who persevere and keep on moving.So, I may not understand the game of football and lord knows, I don’t have to explain the rules to someone but I understand the fans waiting inside the cold Buffalo Airport and those players inside the locker room What I would love to see and not be seen: kind of like my invisible power: would be the bookies in Las Vegas. How many placed the winning bet? That is what I would like to know.

Enjoy your day and stay warm.

I first fell in like with Bruno Mars after the 60 minutes interview with Lara Logan as he seemed like the sort of person you would enjoy hanging out with for the day. The end of the year: getting over a very bad cold that cornered me for 3 weeks; sifting thoughts together not quite determined yet to start writing again until the new year; trying to get away from reading about published writers and what works for them; listening outside to our cat defending her territory from a beautiful Siamese cat;and as I watch them climb the oak tree thinking what a thing of beauty and of fight; not really wanting to go anywhere for the week off; happy to be at home with my husband and a few good books awaiting 2018. Enjoy the spunk of Bruno and I hope our days to come in 2018 equal the optimism and energy of this song. And if some days are good and some not so good, I know where to find my energy. Happy 2018 if you don’t hear from me before, you know I will be around. Enjoy the quiet last days of 2017 before showtime begins with 2018. I have a feeling it will arrive with a flourish and lets hope we handle the year with grace as my Irish mom used to say.


Appointment: VA: Michael is ok. His cancer is rare: gastroenterpancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma. Only 3 other people are patients in the VA system in Tampa with this particular type of cancer. In his case, it is not aggressive so the Doc told us that the chromosome marker for cancer is rapidly dropping and the tumor is stabilizing and not increasing. Great news as the CT scan revealed also that his antibodies are high enough to successfully fight the recently bad cold infection that Mike had and that I caught from him. He is now looking forward to start to take part in cancer survivor runs and walks, etc. I pray that everyone in the waiting room of the oncologist will receive good news but I know the odds are not in everyone’s favor.The Doctor we saw today is very confident that he can continue to live a healthy life. If he hadn’t participated in the study and volunteered for the colonoscopy a year earlier, this wouldn’t be the case. The VA identified him and asked him and he made the right choice.

Today I share one of my favorite artists who has since passed on. Most of you will recognize Amy Winehouse as the person known for “Rehab” but I was able to hear her in concert in Dubai. Although the concert did not fare well for her, I was amazed at the following and the interaction of those who followed her. So many appreciated her raw talent: stay strong this holiday and for those of you who suffer from holiday depression or are alone or facing a tough battle whether it be physical, economical, or emotional…stay strong and know by sharing someone will reach out to you. Thanks for listening.
And if all else doesn’t work, write your thoughts down and then move on. If you can’t move on, then you may need outside help. I am not a doctor or even a person with the right answer but this season, there may be some kind of help or kindness you can offer. For many Amy Winehouse fans, we wish she had been able to overcome her addictions as her talent was phenomenal. Sometimes we are given crazy talents but we must know how to deal with them also. Rest in peace.

I start to watch Christmas youtube videos and flash mobs but for me…I always return to my staple.

Thanks for listening and liking for everyone who commented on my blog. I have been muddling my way through a very bad cold, so I will see everyone after the New Year. I am taking some time off after this week finishes to enjoy the last days of 2017. Thank you for listening. I do appreciate it!I initially began writing only for our customers to read and then after we closed the store December 2015 when my husband became ill with cancer, I continued. As I continued, the blog served as a good memory of everything we have been through together and of course, the progress of my husband. This month, more tests will be done to see if the new shot is working. We pray for the best. It is most likely going to be an emotional ending of the year for us, so we may need some time to ourselves to process everything. And then of course, move on to the new year.

Thanks if you encouraged me or reached out. I truly expected nothing but was pleased if I touched someone with my writing or thoughts. This morning as I rolled unhappily muddling out the door still not feeling 100 percent for a change I tried to give myself a break. I felt guilty this morning for feeling more miserable than my husband whose illness is chronic but that is what a bad cold or the flu can do to you: take you by the horns and spit you back out. I am proud of my husband and I for making it through together intact after this year and I pray we will receive good news. His fatigue caused by the cancer and the treatments is sometimes challenging for me. I ache for the husband of great energy and vitality but I yet remain patient with the situation because I believe the doctors and that many patients have responded positively to this treatment and lived a decade more. “The future is not ours to see.” I seem to remember someone saying that. Goodbye for now. I will return.

See you in 2018! Dare I state, and to everyone a great year. Now, lets get through this week! Onward.