I realized yesterday that I’ve recently crossed a huge milestone.  January 4th was the anniversary of my lumpectomy surgery, so… that means I am a five year cancer survivor!  Thank you, God.

So, today, I am grateful for making it to this milestone. The last five years taught me so much, among them the fact that I am far stronger than I ever thought I was, mostly because I am stronger than the fear.  I am also grateful for the lessons I learned, such as not to miss small moments, because they are the best.  Don’t hesitate to hug and say, “I love you”. Enjoy the small guilty pleasures, that piece of chocolate, a hot cup of tea with a loved one, really listen to someone you love or take the time to go to the beach.  I am trying to be better at not letting what I have to do overshadow what I want to do.  Time seems so limited sometimes.  The floors that need to be done can wait, but time with a daughter can’t.  Small moments are the best.

On another note, it’s still cold!  The Gulf temperature is 54 degrees, a low that’s rarely seen here. I will not be putting my toes in the sand soon… I might as well do the floors.

Have a grateful day!

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Brrrr…. it’s cold!


I know, Floridians shouldn’t complain about the cold, but we are the worst about it.  One cold front day is okay, but longer than that, and we whine, incessantly.  We are just not equipped for it.  Transformers blow, fuses for heating systems pop, making life uncomfortable and people cranky.  The good news is that we will warm into the 60’s starting on Sunday.

After some contemplation, I have decided to start the new year by making a gratitude journal. (Thank you, Terri, for the inspiration!)

So, today I am grateful for a warm house, hot tea, and a morning off!

Have a grateful day!

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Happy Thanksgiving

May you have a day full of love, joy and peace!

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Thankful Three

Today, I am thankful for my grandsons!  Chris Jr. (CJ) is 5 and Colton is 4, and both are growing too fast!  CJ was diagnosed with autism this year and his journey has been a miracle in the works.  When it was time to enroll him into kindergarten, my daughter took him to the local public elementary school, where he proceeded to have a meltdown of epic proportion, being sensitive to sounds and crowds.  That led her to a school designed for autistic children, where he was tested and deemed too advanced to be accepted.  But, she did learn about the Gardiner Scholarship offered by the state which provides funding for private school for disabled children, and immediately applied on July 27th.  We toured several schools, one being a Christian School near her home, who accepted CJ and his disability.  It is a loving school home for him, on 20 acres and houses a mini farm with goats, chickens, and a garden for all grades. He loves his “farm school”, as he calls it, and they embrace his differences.  We later learned that anyone who applied for the scholarship after August 1st was denied due to lack of funding, so it was indeed divine intervention that Annette was led to this path.  I also went with her when they tested CJ prior to his acceptance,  and just before they took him for testing, he looked at the teacher who explained to him what would happen and said, “Ok. Let’s do this!” My new mantra… “Let’s do this!” 
In his classroom, total of 8 students:
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The playground, which overlooks the lake. The older grades participate in kayaking courses on the property:
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These boys light up my soul and my life!

What are you thankful for this year?

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Thankful Two

For Thanksgiving week, I am listing the things I am grateful for this year.  So, day two:

  • Grateful that we escaped Irma with little damage, only losing the contents of our fridge.  Since we live in a manufactured home, we were a Level A evacuation. I am so grateful for the friends who welcomed us and our dog into their home to wait out the storm.  We made it through the long night, and were so relieved to come home to our house intact, other than yard debris and a torn screen on the lanai. We were fortunate to be without electricity for only two days!  The same friends who sheltered us also loaned us their generator, since they were restored after one day.  We were able to save the food in our deep freeze.  Since then, we have found a generator for a great price and were given a second generator and a portable a/c unit.  We are ready for next season!
  • I am also thankful for our little garden.  We are experimenting for the winter season with tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and several varieties of peppers, some lettuce and onions.  Amazingly fun to watch our garden grow!

What are your “thankfuls”?

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Thanksgiving week and time to take stock of all that we are grateful for this year.  So, in the spirit of this week, here are some of the things I am thankful for.  Today I will start with the “big” things:

  • Of course, my family. We are all healthy and reasonably happy this year. Although we won’t be together this year on the actual day, we remain joined in hearts and spirit. And, we will get together next weekend.
  • My job. I am grateful to be employed full time, with benefits. It is challenging at times, but I am thankful for the stamina and energy to be able to do it!
  •  My dear husband. The man makes me laugh and fills my heart with joy.  He can also frustrate me, but, don’t husbands always?
  • My house.  It’s my refuge and my safe place to run at the end of the day.

What are your “thankfuls”?

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Goodnight, Evvie!

I’ve always had an artificial Christmas tree. It appeals to my frugal side, but also to my tree-hugging-hippie side. It’s a renewable source, and, to be honest, I’ve grown attached to my trees.  When the girls were little, they would draw a picture for the tree so it wouldn’t be scared or lonely in its box hidden in the dark attic. Over the years, it has grown into an annual letter tucked in with her (yes, the tree has always been of feminine gender, and we have had several over the years).  She also has a name, Evvie the Evergreen.

This was this years edition:

Dear Evvie,
It’s time once again to put you to sleep for the long spring and summer.  2016 flew all too quickly, as the years always seem to.
It’s been a quiet year for Paul and I, not many changes, other than Kate and Nick moving in to a house two streets over.  It was an expensive fall, with a roof leak, new ramp to side door, new water heater, Kate’s car needing massive work and Annette needing new carpet for her new house.  So, hoping that 2017 will be easier on the budget.  I’m still working at the same job, but less afraid of getting fired, lol.  Sixteen months and counting.  Healthwise, we are good, although Paul had a rough spell in the fall with his COPD, but he is much better now.  Very happy about that!
Kate left the Y and is now working with a local hospital group at an outpatient rehab center as a yoga instructor and is in the process of being certified to personal train cancer patients and will also be doing regular personal training.  She started back to school to work on her physical therapy ass’t goal as well.  Nick is working at the printing place along with most of the family of our former neighbors.  Their little family grew with the addition of Shiva, our grandfur, who happens to share Kate’s birthday!  A black Lab and pit mix, she seems to be 99.9% Lab, with all the joy and love that Labs bring to life.  The also adopted a feline brother for Shiva, named Buddha, or Bud for short.  So, they have formed a sweet and loving family!
Annette graduated from UMA with a degree in Medical Billing and  Coding. Proud mama moment for me to attend the graduation ceremony!  My SIL watched the simulcast, so was able to attend via video, another poignant moment for me!  Chris and Annette purchased a home in Odessa, on 2 acres MOL, complete with two ponds, turtles, owls and more wildlife that they haven’t seen yet.  Although further away, I’m hopeful that we will still see them as often.  CJ was diagnosed as autistic, but high on the spectrum, so they will have that challenge to deal with in 2017.  He’s a good boy, and I’m certain that with the therapy that he will get, he will progress smoothly. Christopher is still working driving the cement truck, and is very successful at it and making a very good living while doing so, and taking special care of his little family.
So, what do I hope for in 2017?  Of course, the old standby of healthy living and weight loss, and I hope to pursue more creative endeavors, my main goal.  I have been way too focused on work and need to focus on doing things I enjoy, writing, crafting and beaching!
Looking forward to seeing you again soon!
Much love,
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Happy New Year


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It’s official!

It’s going to happen…. I will no longer have a place of employment after August 18th.

My work has been a huge part of my life for 14 years.  And soon will be a heap of rubble, demolished and something new will contribute to the community.

I think I’ve been through the full spectrum of emotions.  From sadness to relief to anticipation for the next chapter.  I’m grateful for all of them….


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