Simple Playsures

He’s got a big basket full of toys but give him a box, a roll of toilet paper, an empty antacid bottle and a towel and Piper is one happy bird. And nothing makes this bird mom happier than Piper at play.

What makes dad unhappy? When mom gives Piper the last roll of toilet paper in the house.


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Have you ever gone through a stressful time surprisingly easily and seemingly unscathed only to feel a few days later as though you’ve been hit by a truck? That’s what I have been experiencing all week, after my husband’s heart procedure last week, the sudden disappearance of my website the week before and several other significant obstacles since the middle of June. When my husband returned to work this week, I had every intention to,return to my daily routine, only to find myself exhausted physically and foggy mentally. I gave myself that day to regroup but three days later am still not myself.

My husband (and, for that matter) is back to normal and I am still in recovery mode. He’s having his incision checked today but there is nothing for anyone to steri-strip on me. My bruising and scars resulting from recent events can’t be seen. I didn’t even know some damage had been done until the crises were over. Stress is all it’s cracked up to be and even when we seem to be handling it, it can surprise us with its effects. We usually don’t even equate the tiredness and blahness with what trauma and or drama has just occurred. I know I think every timeI must be coming down with something. 

We all know stress is bad for us. But do we really know? And do any of us know how to control it when in the thick of life’s most chaotic moments? I know I sure don’t. In my own case, not only am I taken aback when there is a delayed arrival, I am also never sure when a trying situation will get my stress meter in the red zone or if I will power through in neutral. All I know for sure is as soon as and as often as you are able, you must take care of yourself. Give yourself the break you need and listen to what your body is telling you.

And let’s look on the bright side. There’s no bandage for stress which means there’s no ripping it off. And what is more stressful than that?


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Wonder Drugs

Giving my name and date of birth at the pharmacy, I was surprised to hear they had not just the one medication I needed but two others. I took them all, having them ready on automatic refill meant I would be needing them soon.

As this was our last stop in a morning of errands, I turned my attention to all the things I had to do when I got home. I thought about the bag of prescriptions on the back seat and a brief moment of excited curiosity ran through me: what were the two unexpected pills in the bag?

What the heck was that? It’s not a beautifully wrapped gift, it’s a paper bag of drugs!  Why am I feeling a thrill of anticipation?

Getting old is not for sissies. But if you can keep your childlike wonder, it doesn’t hurt quite so much. Which is good news as not one of my medications was for pain.


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Vital Signs

Three years after being implanted, the lead wire of my husband’s defibrillator became faulty and had to be replaced. No surgery is easy for the patient or family waiting for word, but when the part of the anatomy being worked on is the heart, everyone’s pulse quickens a bit. I am grateful and so happy to report that everything went well and he is doing great.

In the halls of the cardiac center where he had his procedure and overnight stay, signs displaying quotes about the heart line the walls. I am a sucker for a good quote any day, but knowing your spouse is anesthetized in a cath lab fifty yards away does pull on your own heartstrings even more sharply than usual. I share them with you now and hope they speak to you, too. The last one encompasses both my husband and my medical conditions to perfection.

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Handy Memories Get Me Through

On April 14th of this year, I posted “Shore-Ly Good Fridays” when the first of many five-year markers occurred for me in 2017. Today is another: the fifth anniversary of my mom’s death.

Five years. Old enough to go to kindergarten. I don’t remember my first day of school but I know Mom walked me there and I imagine it was hard for her to do so; we were close from the start. Maybe she held my hand as I held hers when she took her last breath.

I remember every detail of her hands: the long fingers, nails always painted in clear polish, which she did herself. Her hands, so unlike mine with my short stubby fingers and close cut naked nails.She always wore a gold wedding band on her left hand and usually one other ring on her right. I often picked up rings for her on my travels and she wore them all the time which made me so happy. We would hold hands a lot, in the car, walking on the boardwalk, laughing and being silly.

I couldn’t imagine five minutes without her that afternoon she left. But here I am, five years later, typing this blog on my iPad with the hand that held hers in the end. If heaven does exist, there is no doubt she will be waiting for me at the door, arm outstretched, and we’ll hold hands once again.

Until then, Mom. I’ll keep holding on.


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Proud Keep On Rollin’

I love this saying but I also recognize that being proud of ourselves is something we don’t think about very much, if at all. We are proud of our family and friends, for who they are and what they persevere through. We are proud to be Americans. But proud of ourself? That requires the conscious review of our accomplishments, only to be explored when sternly scolded by friends or therapist to do just that.

You know what’s much easier to do? The “Don’t Stop” part. We don’t take the time to reflect on what we have done to warrant the pride. It’s all about moving forward, the doing. I think that is how we honor our proud moments, no ticker tape parade or moment of “I did it”; we move on to the next thing with no consideration of what we have just achieved.

Everyday we all do things we should be proud of. From the littlest thing, in my case getting the toothpaste on the toothbrush, to the biggest, my taking Uber to places on my own. But there should be, at the very least, a moment of self-recognition. You went for it. You didn’t stop. You got it. Is there more to do, the next thing waiting? Absolutely. But the very next item on your task list should read: BE PROUD. I will if you will.


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Working Out Locked Out

A beautiful morning without the humidity that has been plaguing us like, well, the plague. I don’t really want to go out for a walk but I want to ride the exercise bike even less. Sometimes less really is more.

Sneaks, workout shorts and a cool top. check 

iPhone and headphones. check 

Lock the door. check

House key.

No-tice the no check.

That exercise bike was looking good, great even, from my vantage point on the front porch. Suddenly I needed a bathroom, only because I was on the wrong side of a locked door. Yep, my monotonous pedal devil was laughing at me, fourteen steps away from a working toilet.

The guy next door was home with the spare key we gave him for such an occasion. I headed out for my walk, with no trip to the bathroom required. I only had to go when I couldn’t. There is surely some life lesson in that. But the one I learned is tried-and-true: love thy neighbor.


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Losing My Site

After months of working with a wonderful website designer and years of wanting this blog to look a certain way,’s makeover was complete. Vowing to learn more about WordPress and make changes to this blog myself moving forward, I added a Contact Form on Monday all by myself. I had attempted to create the form a good part of Sunday afternoon but couldn’t get it the way I wanted it. The stubbornness that serves me well every day pushed me to try again. And I did it. It gave me a huge boost of confidence that maybe I can actually get better at tweaking this blog on my own.

A few hours later, my website was gone.

I tried to remain calm, I swear I did. I didn’t do too bad the first few hours. As it became apparent it wasn’t coming back on its own, panic set in. I tried all the tricks I have employed during the last few years as devastating things occurred in my life: it’s going to be okay, it’s not the end of the world, no one died, it’s not a health issue for anyone I love, it may not be gone forever, it’s only a blog. 

My husband, calm, cool and collected in all situations not related to his beloved Seahawks, also tried his best to keep me grounded in what we did know at this point and what we didn’t. We are SO different in how we view things but at that moment I wanted so badly to BE him and feel and look at things the way he does. For twenty-seven years this hadn’t happened so it probably wasn’t going to happen now.

As I continuously attempted to talk myself down off the ledge, my stomach and my heart were not receiving the messages. For you see, this is not just a website to me. If no one ever reads it, it is still my life’s work. That’s a tall order for something that can be gone in a keystroke.

You would think waking up blind would teach you life’s ultimate lesson: I can, and will, change in a nanosecond. But for whatever reason, I am always surprised, as if I’ve never had my entire life completely shattered in the hours I slept one November night.

For all I have gone through, I would expect to be stronger, better able to handle whatever comes my way. And in some ways I am. But it seems no matter how shored up my Fortress of Fortitude, the pounding, relentless waves of life can erode it as quickly as I add reinforcements. is back in all her full glory and Sister Rain is getting there. When I renewed my domain name Monday night, there was a bug with the provider that caused my site to disappear. Yep, I heard it as I typed it. A bug, a virus, caused the loss of my site and my sight.

One has been fully restored, the other not so much. And I’m not quite back on solid ground myself. I am first and foremost grateful is back in business. As for Sister Rain, she does get scared even though she tries really hard not to. And that does take a toll. But we both have survived to blog another day. Thank the tech gods, for where would I be without my net?


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