The Days Are Passing

Today has been a day full of thought. The skies remained gray and the air was warm. But after doing a quick grocery shopping, and coming home to make lunch, I found myself thinking back in time.

I remembered people I knew who I was very close to. People who helped teach me a lot about life. Life Lessons. Both are gone now, but the things we talked about, still remain in my mind.

Many years ago when I lost someone close to me, it was a terrible tragedy. They were too young to die! So much life left to live!  Now, with many of my friends being over 65, 70, or 80, when I think of those losses, it is the pain of losing their friendship. But they have had full lives and mostly I think they were ready for leaving this earth.

I’m sixty-two. I look at my life and think, I will see my 70s and 80s, but hopefully I will do this in good health.

I also look back and see all the life I have lived. Places I have gone, things I have done, and the moments, special moments I have shared.

I remember my pregnancy with Amanda. It wasn’t an easy pregnancy, as I nearly lost her early on in the pregnancy. But it was meant to be, and before I knew it, I was a mother.

1That was probably the happiest day of my life!

I was watching The Pioneer Woman’s daughter’s wedding this morning and I thought about my marriage to Jack.

I shopped and shopped for a nice, special, second wedding dress. Nothing in New England, so I went to Florida to visit my friend, Benn. I drove to The Miracle Mile in Fort Lauderdale and went to a Bridal Shop there.


I found a beautiful cream-colored, lace tea-length dress there. It fit perfectly and needed no alterations. So It was packed up and I headed to Benn’s house where I proceeded to show him.

51137040960_de69d9e402_bJack, Me & Benn

He was quite nice about it, as I am sure that most men don’t get excited at the sight of a wedding dress. But Benn was kind and very brotherly to me. After all, in a few weeks, Benn would be the Best Man at our wedding.

I remember being so excited! And on the day of the wedding, I wore that lovely dress and felt like the prettiest of women.

 I remember being on an airplane with my first dackel, Shubi. I was the last to board and I raced to my seat and put Shubi, in her carrier under the seat in front of me. The man sitting next to me told me to put that bag in the overhead. I told him I couldn’t, as that was my dog. He then looked at me and said, “In my country, we eat dogs!”

Feb 16 014Me & Shubi

Yes, the memories flow, and the laughter and the tears. All my loves, all those times shared.  Gone in a second. I think this is what makes me wonder about the future, however long or short it may be.

I guess the best bet is to just enjoy each and every day and love those you are with.


Things I have Learned

I think the biggest thing I have been doing the last seven months that I have been following The WW Green Plan, is to write down each meal (using their online App) and plan out what I am going to eat.


Here I am at 10:15 on Saturday morning and I know what I will be eating the rest of the day.

A friend told me she couldn’t be so rigid with her eating. Her life would stop if she had to give up the things she loves.

I told her I don’t “Have” to, I “Want” to.

I’m sixty-one years old. I’ve been waiting for the “Skinny Fairy” to arrive. I’m guessing it isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.

What this means to me now, in order to avoid becoming a Type 2 Diabetic, or developing a heart problem, changing the way I eat, the very way I look at food needed to change!

And it has. Big time.

I’m a Carb-a-holic. This means there isn’t a loaf of bread, donut, cake, cookie, or breading that I do not crave and love. In fact, it’s funny, even when I am not eating bread, if I am making Jack a sandwich, I will hold the bread close and “inhale the scent” of it. Ahhhhhh!


There are certain foods I know I cannot eat because they trigger me to start down that bumpy road.

Sugar is also one of those things on my addiction list. I have ended my love affair with the white stuff. It took about two weeks of going cold turkey before I got the need for sugar out of my system.

I’m learning to fully enjoy new things. Melon, berries, apples, garden salads, and this is a big surprise, Carrots. I’ve always liked carrots, but now I cut them up and add them to my salad. I love them!

I have given up pork and salty ham. Never a favorite, so it wasn’t hard to eliminate it from my eating plan. I love to eat fish (any kind) and I love poultry. And very occasionally I will enjoy some beef.

I know I need to use portion control, but I also need to use my head to pick and choose foods sensibly.

I’ve written a lot about my journey on WW because it helps to keep me honest with myself. I also hope that if anyone else is struggling with their weight, maybe they will see that there is a way to lose weight and still eat!

I admit that after the age of 60 it’s a little tougher to do, but not impossible.


Homophones? Who Knew!

I have certain words that drive me insane! Mostly because although they sound the same, they do not necessarily mean the same things.

Take Yay, Yea, and Yeah.

You pronounce yay in the same way you pronounce yea, which makes these two words homophones—indistinguishable when spoken and easily confused when written. They have different meanings, though. While yea is the word we sometimes use for yesyay is the word we use to express joy, approval, or excitement.

The origins of yay are difficult to pin down—some sources say it came from yeah, others say it came from yea.

Yeah: in modern times is a less formal way to say yes. But good old YAY! Still is solely used to express happiness and joy!

There is also the problem of Their, There, and They’re.

Their: is the possessive case of the pronoun they, as in “They left their cell phones at home.”

There: is an adverb that means “in or at that place,” as in “She is there now.” In this sense, there is essentially the opposite of here. There is also used as a pronoun introducing a sentence or clause, as in “There is still hope.”

They’re: is a contraction of the words they and are, as in “They’re mastering the differences between these homophones!”

I do so love playing with the English language. I know I make so many mistakes, and when I look up to find answers, I hope I will retain what I learned.


And an English Professor once told me I was an “over-explanation-pointer” when I write! Imagine that!!!


Losses & Gains

2019 will be a year I will not easily forget. This has been the year that I have had to learn how to cope with and let go of many people who were very dear to me in life. I guess that everyone reaches a certain age when they start losing their peers, and so it has been for me.


There have been nine wonderful souls that departed my life this year. Several were very close to me and the pain I felt at their loss was very deep.

Now I am faced with yet another good friend being terminally ill. I know it will not be too long until she passes from this world to the next. She called me yesterday, out of the blue. I was cleaning my bathroom, but I stopped and talked to her. She told me she is now in Hospice Care. So, I know the time is close.

I’ve never handled death terribly well. I would cry and cry and go through periods of great depression after. But, somehow Candy taught me so much.

Since her passing, I have found a new relationship with God and when I feel unable to cope, I literally give it all to God. Ever been in a grocery store and heard someone say: “God, I can’t take it anymore so I’m taking all the problems and giving them to you!”

Yes, that was me. Whenever and wherever I am, I give it to God. It seems he is always around for me.

Psalm 119:114 – You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

I also find that by asking for his help, I am comforted.


Jeremiah 33:3 – Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

It’s a place of deeper knowledge and comfort.

Cactus & Other Things

About two weeks ago now, I took three Christmas Cactus plants outside and repotted all three of them. I had hope for two of them, after all, being pot bound and all dried out is nothing for a cactus, right? So the two larger plants I repotted, carefully putting some stones in the bottom for proper drainage and I used a combination of Potting Soil and Moo-Poo (Yes it is exactly what it says it is, only composted with dirt and mulch) to re-pot.

The third plant was almost a total loss. In fact, I kind of decided that if it didn’t perk up in a few days I would simply chuck the plant and I would have learned that even cactus need tending. This poor thing was so dried up and pathetic.

Unlike many other cacti, Christmas cacti and their relatives don’t live in arid environments. (So thought I!) Their natural habitat is one of an epiphyte living in tree branches in the rain forests of Brazil! (Brazil?) In other words, they prefer a humid climate, not a dry one, so it’s important to water these cacti more regularly than most succulents. (Who knew?)

20151104_080607The oldest and largest of my Christmas Cactus, before I neglected it. I hope one day it will look like this again.

After doing all the re-potting, I started to bring them back into the house, and then I stopped. After all, it is warm outside and that is the southern side of the house. Perfect for revitalization. Especially since we have had rain almost every day.

After a few days, the first two plants began to perk up! Their color got better and they began to look stronger! I’ve been so excited!

The third plant has been more of a challenge. I watched and watched and two or three times I came close to tossing it in the compost heap. But then a few days ago I checked its base and it was green! Some of the stem segments (called cladodes) have fallen off, but the new ones seem to be growing.

cactusThe two healthy ones are at the top. The one who is still struggling is on the bottom.

Despite not know that a Christmas Cactus was not really a Cactus, it does seem that they can handle a lot of abuse.

Meanwhile, the birds continue to be happy in the yard and I am happily watching them. My favorite is the Downey Woodpecker.

P6250024 (3)

He is small and so adorable. Some of the other birds try to push him around, but he doesn’t let them.

Ah, nature in all it’s beauty!

Going On

As I sit here this morning, I know in my heart, that I need to go on. I think it is impossible to live life when you cling to sadness.

Yes it hurts, yes you are sad, and yes, you cry at all the sappy commercials on TV. However, there is a difference between passing through grief and getting stuck there.

I chose life.


So, as I start Tuesday, I start it with a sense of great love for my family and friends, and thankfulness that I am here to share another day.


Tomorrow we take Anneliese to the Canine Ophthalmologist. The only problem with this is we are due for another walloping snowstorm starting today and going overnight. The good Vet is 59 miles from our home, over some nasty mountainous roads, as we head to Portsmouth and the shoreline of New Hampshire. Jack has said he would drive and if we give ourselves two hours we should be fine, and by the time we come home, the roads will be much better.

I am hoping that Anneliese will simply need more medication. That would be the best case scenario. Next best would be a simple surgical debridement of the ulcer. And worst case, she could lose the eye.

July 12 09 025

I am hopeful that Anneliese will heal beautifully and enjoy much better health in the future.

I broke out a historical biography to read last night. “Queen Victoria: Icon of an Era” by Michael Simmons. It’s quite interesting, as I knew almost nothing of her life before Prince Albert, very little about their marriage, save for this great love story, which isn’t exactly how it all started and then all of us know about her senior years as beautifully portrayed by Judi Dench in “Mrs. Brown” and “Victoria and Abdul”.

Inbetween reading this book, I was doing laundry and watching the Westminster Dog Show.

Oh yes, and cooking. I’ve been cooking up a storm, much to Jack’s great approval. Somehow chopping, sauteing and baking a meal brings me great joy.

So this, my friends, is how I am going on.


Just A Bite

Have you ever considered what you might want to eat in your last days of life? I have always said, chocolate, champagne, and fresh bread with good butter!

I have to tell you, you may think this is how it goes but what I discovered was this. A taste of real comfort food brought so much joy.

I went out to a German Deli in Port Charlotte, Kallis German Butcher Shop, and bought fresh Klosterbrot, a fine German Leberwurst, and a pretzel. I also bought some Leberkäse (a wonderful fine German meatloaf) and Lebkuchen (German Christmas cookies).

I made her a bite of Klosterbrot with a teaspoon of liverwurst on it. A few hours later her sister made Schnitzel and Candy really enjoyed a bit of that. In the morning I made Leberkäse with an egg. She told me over and over how good that was. And she ate a small bite of the pretzel and half of a cookie.

She said how my seafood lasagna was the best thing ever. So Mary and I fixed it up for dinner and she had a few bites, with a smile on her face.

After that, she wanted nothing. She’d had her comfort food and enjoyed it, but that was all.

Mary and I would have cooked anything she wanted, but she just smiled and said, no.

As I sat with her I wondered what I would want if I could only taste a few things. The fresh German bread is definitely on my list. A good Schnitzel for sure. A little piece of eggplant, and a little sip of eggnog with one bite of stollen. It’s a funny list, isn’t it? But those are the things that bring me real joy when I eat them.

Happiness Is Yours

I admit that at times I did cry. I did get caught up in the sadness. And then I would see Candy smile. She managed to find even just a little bit of happiness in each day.

It showed me that even in such sadness, there can still be an amazing joy. One only has to look to find it.


I think there are many lessons that we learn along the way in life. We’ve called many of those lessons things that we learned in “The School Of Hard Knocks”.

This is so true. I’ve learned about doing unto others… I’ve learned about karma…I’ve learned that life, no matter how good you believe yourself to be, is not fair. Far from it, at times.

images (1)

So, as I sat with my friend, Candy, I was struck dumb at first. I didn’t know what to say except the usual, “I love you”, and I knew that at times like this if you aren’t sure what to say, be quiet.

So there I sat, holding her hand and letting her drift between wakefulness and sleep.

You see, I’m a talker. Ask anyone who knows me. I can carry on long conversations all by myself, while other people sit back amazed at my gift for the gab.

One time when Mandy was a baby, I went to visit my grandmother. I lived with her during my teen years and each day after school I would arrive home in time for tea. I would tell Grandma all about my day and she would smile and listen. As a teen, I thought we had great talks. But on this day, as a new mother, Gram and I sat and I talked and talked, and realized that Gram was sitting there smiling at me.

“What?” I asked her. Suddenly very confused.

“Oh my dear, How I have missed listening to you talk!” she said with a smile.

So, as I sat with Candy, I was amazed that I had nothing to say. You see while driving from Orlando to Port Charlotte, I prayed to God. I asked him to help me do his work and not my own.

That first day, I talked with Candy about getting to her in time, and my great love for her and then I knew I had to let go of any agenda I might have and allow myself to be the comfort to Candy that she needed.

That first night Candy was very restless. She was upset about so many things that in the grand scheme of things she needed to let go of. I listened to her, I offered no solutions. I knew that she just needed to vent.

Her breathing grew labored and out of control as she became more upset. The visiting nurse arrived and seeing her distress he suggested medication to help her relax. She hated that, but since she literally felt like she was drowning, she listened and took the medication.

It did make her relax and later when she began to get upset again, I spoke gently and offered her a short back rub.

That first day I learned that the power of touch is often worth more than all those empty words that we spill out in life.

For a talker, this was life-changing.