Storms and Sunshine

We seem to be alternating between fierce winds and drenching rains to breezes and sunshine as we transition to Spring — nothing new in this neighborhood. Lots of trees are down and small limbs and branches are littering the grounds, so the weather has let up to allow us to clean up before the next wave arrives.

I have to fight the urge to go out and start planting, or at least start seeds inside, but we could easily have freeze and snow until middle of May… To bide my time, I’m cleaning up the back porch and garden shed, always a treat and much preferable to cleaning the house.

I’m planning a trip over to Southern Illinois tomorrow, predicted to be a beautiful day. My Carmi friends have a new garden plot and I’m excited to see it and dream up a design. I’m sure I’ll be inspired and come home with ideas for my own scheme.

The Orchid Show is still going on over at the Zoo and that’s on my agenda, as well. Have you visited it yet?– it would be a great retreat on a rainy day.

In the meantime, the mundane tasks of reading, writing, and making music are keeping me company, but I’d love to meet up for lunch. Anyone?

Pulling on my boots and headed outside! Hope the sun is shining where you are!


Home again

Thanks, dear friends, for the many happy-birthday-wishes. The Jubilee has just begun! Day 4 of being 70 is showing promise as we unpack and plow through the laundry.

Our trip was Super! We did several things that we’d never done before: watched the sunset from Topolino’s Terrace, ate lunch at La Creperie in France, and rode Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind.

Cosmic Rewind is the BEST RIDE EVER!!! so we rode it twice.

On my Birthday Evening, we were gifted with reservations at Raglan Road, where we met up with one of the Irish Dancers there who made it such a special treat. We watched the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness, visited Port Orleans French Quarter to celebrate Mardi Gras, and basked in some beautiful sunsets.

The picture below kind of sums it up: These two kids are happy…

One of the perks of our traveling is how good it feels to get back home. Breaking up the monotony of winter is especially invigorating, and with only three weeks until the Spring Equinox it feels like the days are considerably longer, if not brighter.

My Jubilee Mission continues: To fill the Year with love, laughter, good health, and good people. So far, so good…


Birthday Day

Disney World is Not just for kids, as I have shown you. In fact, we’ve walked nearly 12 miles since we arrived and I haven’t had anyone carry me, so far, like I see all these little’uns.

Yesterday we broke camp at Fort Wilderness and moved over here to Pop Century — our home-away-from-home. The weather is very hot and humid, so I’m glad we’re not camping the whole trip.

And now the Big Day has dawned and I’ve completed yet another trip around the sun, my 70th. Park Hopping is my cardio and I’m feeling pretty fit. We’re scheduled to ride Guardians of the Galaxy – Cosmic Rewind around 4:30 at Epcot today and have most of the day free to do whatever we feel. Celebrate!

It seems appropriate to quote Walt Disney…

To finish up the Judith Viorst poem, quoted in Sunday’s post, re: turning the big 7-0:

……In the meantime,

Let us consider

Drinking wine,

Making love,

Laughing hard,

Caring hard,

And learning a new trick or two

As part of our job description

At Seventy.

That’s a pretty good job description for any of us, don’t you agree? I’m so grateful for all of you, truly appreciative of all my readers, whatever your age… Join the Jamboree and celebrate with me!

Hope you youngsters are able to keep up with us Class-of-’71-ers…


and the Jubilee Jamboree begins…

After a particularly gray, gloomy week here at the Acres, we’ve escaped, driving south toward sunshine and balmy temperatures. As if that weren’t enough, it’s Birthday Week!

We were off to a great start Friday evening with a Game Night Party to celebrate Samantha’s 8th and my 70th. We played the new Life Goals card game and learned the Clue card game. Both of us Birthday Girls won, and though the Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game was very competitive, the victory went to me.

If it’s noon, we’re driving through Chattanooga, a highway that makes me nervous. There’s something about runaway truck lanes that puts me on edge. If you’re reading this later in the afternoon, we’ve hopefully made it through Atlanta without too many stops and are cruising down the looong state of Georgia. We’ll stop tonight around sunset and spend the night in a campground. Goldie has been remodeled since our last outing and I believe we’ve got the layout just right for our needs.

I recently discovered an old (2005) book of poems by Judith Viorst, titled “I’m too young to be Seventy And other delusions”. She so perfectly put into words so much of what I’m feeling about this aging thing, and I’ll probably be sharing some of the poems with you this year. The title poem, “At Seventy”, starts like this

Instead of “old”

Let us consider


Or maybe “oldish”

Or something, anything

That isn’t always dressed in sensible shoes

And fading underwear.

Besides which, seventy isn’t old.

Ninety is old.

And though eighty is probably old,

We needn’t decide that

Until we get there.

I’m considering this trip a reset, a re-boot, a rejuvenation, a kick-off celebration of my long-ish life and overflowing blessings. I’ll be in touch, and we’ll see how that poem wraps up.


5 things

I really don’t have 5 things, yet, but those types of headlines usually catch a person’s attention, so I’m told, and I’m here to catch your attention…

  1. Last week’s test results turned out to be not nearly as bad as I feared. Thanks to my friends who reached out to me to share their experiences of physical limitations and how they cope, I feel a bit foolish to think my problems are any more than a little speck on a flower. I’m not foolish enough to ignore the lessons I should learn, though, and feel full commitment to improving my cardio-respiratory status. Thanks to Kristi, who met up with me at the mall for a walk on Tuesday and asked me back on Friday! I don’t know what I’d do without the Carnahan Sisters…
  2. During our October trip to WDW, Goldie (our campervan) bounced and rattled so much that we had a pole to stop the loud squeaking noises that drove Casey crazy. She has always been a bit of a rough ride, but that trip was absolutely over-the-top and I was very vocal with my complaining. Casey found a lump on one of the front tires and we changed it while at the resort, so the ride home was much better. After we got home, we bought four new tires, but still hadn’t had a chance to drive them very far. Friday we drove up to New Harmony and the ride was so smooth I thought we’d driven the wrong car! We will not need the stripper pole anymore and our driving will be sooo much better.
  3. I filed our taxes last week and the IRS set a new record for returns: by Tuesday we had our Federal and on Friday the State return was deposited. Rich people got rich-people-problems, so your experiences with the IRS may vary.
  4. My Dewey Decimal book challenge is moving right along — I’m to the 600s, 700s, and 800s. I’ve decided to read a book from each tenth of the 900s — biographies, world history, etc. since those subjects are some of my favorites. I started a new mystery series and it’s okay. I’m halfway through the first book and no one has been murdered yet, but it’s pretty clear who we’re supposed to want dead. Surely she’ll be offed soon.
  5. This Friday Samantha and I will have “our” birthday party! I’ll be gone for her big 8th birthday on the 22nd and will miss her Fun Zone party on the 25th, so we’ll have a Game Night, exchange presents, and probably eat some cupcakes.

While it’s been a doctor-visit-filled first 6 weeks of Jubilee year, the tide is turning and the Jamboree is about to begin! I’m sooo ready to be on our way to warm weather! We’ll leave next Sunday for WDW, but I’ll get back with you next Saturday. I know we go to WDW a lot, and many people are surprised that we go sans young’uns, but we always have a wonderful stay. This trip I will be riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for the first time. There’s a lot to do outside of the parks, as well, and I’ve got a mind to have some drinks and sing-along at JellyRoll’s dueling piano bar.

Thanks again, dear readers, for your help processing my health challenges. You are All the Best!


A little blather…

I managed to get to the doctor before Sonnystone became an ice rink, but had to wait a few gloomy, gray days to pick up my Rx and get started. My mood has been as dreary as the days, so I’ve Tried to cheer up by planning our upcoming Disney trip. Unfortunately, that approach only moved my despair over to my current girth.

I need to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks — haven’t we all been there? I want to lose weight, but I don’t want to get caught up in one of those “eat right and exercise” scams, ya know? You don’t get a body like mine overnight, folks; it takes years of moderate alcoholism, neglect, and sundry damaging behaviors. I feel like I’ve been driving around with my “check engine” light on for quite a while now, and it’s time to do something about it. Really, though, 5 pounds would be good so I’ll fit into my Vacation clothes a little more comfortably.

Two weeks of counting calories won’t kill me, but I often cockily think I “deserve” to pig out. Recent diagnoses should give me some motivation, and I do love to try some new recipes. I cooked up all the red meat in the house last week, finished up most of the sugary snacks I had laying around, and made up a menu of healthy meals for the week.

I would really like to start walking on a regular basis, something I’ve not done since pre-Covid days. (Covid sure did eff us all up, smh) This time of year walking at the mall is the best place, so I wonder if any of you walk there? or would you like to? It would be fun to meet up and see if I can still walk and talk at the same time.

I’m scheduled for some tests this Monday and there will be more doctor consultations coming up, but I’m sure it’s all going to make me stronger and better, and maybe even a little thinner.

Currently streaming through my brain:

Have a good week!


Catching up with myself

Last week was moving right along, winter-as-usual around here with all its boredom, so I was happy to get out and have a routine x-ray. It’s always a great time to have people tell me how great I’m doing “at your age”. Yes, and aren’t I?

This year, there was a change. No cancer, thank-you-Lord, but a couple of other worrisome findings: bronchiectasis/pneumonitis in my left lower lobe; atherosclerosis of my coronary arteries and thoracic artery. This is new from last year, so maybe I’ve caught things quickly, eh? But I’ve been resisting taking cholesterol-lowering medicine for a couple of years now, so I feel guilty and crazy and kinda freaked-out. I’ll see my NP and get started on those meds, and maybe some steroids for the inflammation?, but I’m considerably humbled as I realize that even I, the healthy one with the good genes, can wear out.

I spent yesterday pouting and moping, having an interior argument with my inner bitch, fighting back all the “you should have” or “you know better” or the worst, “you’re a nurse, for gott’s sake”.

I did my usual praying and the general message from Beyond was: “I know we have talked about this extensively, this inevitable decay of All of creation”. Yes, We have talked about it, A Lot, I countered, but in a general way, not actually Me! I thought I was special! Silence on the other end has led me to believe that perhaps I’ve not been listening as well as I ought…

I had to calm myself as I imagined I’d never be able to “finish” my writing, or that I’d not feel like traveling . I began to see those efforts as meaningless and spent a while like the Teacher in Ecclesiastes:

What do people gain from all their labors
    at which they toil under the sun?
Generations come and generations go…

My attitude was like Prince…

…We’re all gonna die
And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for? (What’s it all for?)
You better live now
‘Fore the grim reaper come knocking on your door

After a dark walk through the past, I came out better…just like Prince, again: Am I going to let de-elevator break me down? Hell, no! Let’s Go!

One of the healthiest habits I’ve learned in my life is to look at reality and accept it. Non-resistance is as important for my heart as it is for my soul, so some meditation has brought ’round my perspective. These sorts of changes generally provide opportunities to Grow in understanding, compassion, and faith, as well as physical health, so it’s kind of exciting, in a nervous kind of way. I’m grateful for the medicines we have today; they may even be able to reverse what the radiologist saw. I’m so thankful no cancer was seen. I’m glad I feel so good.

I’m hard at work on what is now going to be a book, converting my blog posts over to Word and editing like mad. The blog itself ( is still intact, though the book will contain updated material, some of which changes the whole chapter, so it’s more than just checking punctuation; good inside work.

We’ll be leaving for Disney in 3 weeks, planning on 2 nights at the campground, 3 at Pop Century. We’re still working on getting the bedding in Goldie right and I’ve ordered a foam mattress that I hope works.

I hope you don’t take this post as complaining, as I mean it as just an admission that I did a lot of griping and mulling yesterday. I know how good I’ve got it. I know how to make changes in my lifestyle to support the addition of meds. I’m just saying, this is a major change in my Mind and it will have an effect on the rest of my life, however long that may be.


True Confessions

Good morning and how are you today? It snowed a little last night, just a light dusting on the grassy areas, not quite enough to be pretty.

We’ve fallen into our usual winter-ness routines: doing nothing, then resting afterward. Actually, I should only speak for myself as Casey stays busy on maintenance of cars, keeping the fire burning, and he even fixed my dining room chairs that have been shaky for a decade or so.

My laziness is legendary, but the internet and its myriad rabbit-holes makes me even less productive…especially for the last several weeks as I’ve obsessed on Harry & Meghan, the dastardly duo who have bombarded the world with too much information, and most of it quite damning to themselves. . What was meant to bring down the British Royal Family has backfired spectacularly, exposing their lies and Harry’s sad mental illness (me mum was killed by the paps). My mouth just drops as I read their ever-changing versions of what happened in the 18months they were part of the Firm, now three years after they left London for Tyler Perry and Oprah. The memes are hilarious, the snarky comments make me chuckle, and as many of the late-night talk show hosts join in ridiculing them, I feel somewhat vindicated in my disgust with them. If you disagree with me, please don’t bother to argue – you won’t change my mind. The vilification of King Charles and Queen Camilla has actually rallied people around the Royals. The only people who are impressed with Harry’s “poor” childhood are the same who think Diana was a saint… Oh, and wasn’t it nice of Harry to admit the Royal Family are not racist? And only 2 years after their accusation on O? He’s made himself a laughing stock with his todger talk and I’m exhausted by it. What a whiner!

I Swear, I’m going cold turkey, stopping my sordid addiction to the Montecito Shit Show.

The Jubilee preparations continue. I have built two spotify playlists, one with songs that have impacted me personally throughout the years, and another that starts in 1953, choosing a pop song to represent each of the last 70 years. The second list has been especially fun! Starting with Patti Page (my earliest star-crush) singing “how much is that doggie in the window?” and ending with Harry Styles’ “As it was”, it is quite a walk down memory lane. It still needs some tweaks, partly because I spent the 90s listening to country music and don’t recognize many of the Pop hits, or even the artists! Around here there used to be 3 country music radio stations to every one Pop station, but nowadays I think many of the country stations have switched to Jesus music. There is a HeavyMetal station, though, so Metallica still thrives in So. Indiana…

I’m keeping up with my book challenges and editing All my Ancestors. That’s about it, kids. I want to get down to Nashville this coming week-end for the Flea Market if the weather is halfway decent. Till we talk again…


Reading Challenge

My annual Reading Challenge over at Goodreads is set at 24, a goal I can Usually meet with ease. This year, however, I have added a new objective: read one book from each section (there are 10) of the Dewey Decimal System. I love non-fiction, so it didn’t seem like much of a strain to accomplish, but as I reviewed the System, I’m realizing there’s a lot more there than meets the eye.

What did we do before a common system of classification was used in the library? It must have been a real pain, especially for someone who was the slightest bit OCD. Enter Melvil Dewey, who had been arranging his mother’s pantry goods since he was a little boy. In 1873, at the age of 25, Dewey patented the decimal system that bears his name, and it began to be implemented in 1876. Called the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), it is built around ten main classes, ostensibly covering the entire world of knowledge.

Each main class is divided into ten more divisions, each having ten divisions of increasing specificity. It is “arranged by discipline, not subject”, so a topic can be all over the place. Given that there are ten main classes, one hundred divisions, and one thousand sections still makes it a bit unwieldy, but the handy-dandy card catalogue became my good friend when trying to do research, as it pulled together the subject of research in a coherent fashion. I mean, seriously, there is a Lot of Knowledge in a library…

I decided to start at Willard Library, partly because it is my very favorite library ever, but I also thought it would be easier to choose a book with less inventory. The 000-100 section is really a lot of reference books, also newspapers, periodicals, Guinness Book of World Records, etc. and it didn’t leave me much choice, so I chose a book called “An Uncommon History of Common Things”. Meh. The Things were common, but I didn’t find their history so uncommon. Does anyone read a book like that all the way through, beginning to end? I don’t, kids, so I skimmed through and it’s ready for return — and it counts as a read, by my rules — and I make the rules here.

More interesting than the book I chose is what I learned about Melvil Dewey, a true example of not judging a book by its cover. In addition to devising the Decimal System, he helped found the American Library Association and the first library school at Columbia University in 1884; he was also the New York State Librarian from 1888-1906. When Columbia University balked at admitting women to the Library School, he started his own school with 17 women and the help of other female teachers. Seems like a real forward-thinking guy for the feminists, right?

Wrong… Melvil Dewey has also been called a misogynist, racist, and anti-Semite. While some biographers credit Dewey with being a champion of women in the workplace – he called for greater employment of women in libraries when most women worked as domestics- it is difficult to grant him that title when multiple women accused him of sexual harassment. He was fired from his NY State Librarian because of his very public refusal to allow Jews to be included in a country club he founded. He paid off several of the women (there were many) who brought charges against him for sexual harassment. In fact, his worldview influences his decimal classifications as he neglected to include any Black history or writers within it. You can notice right away that in the Religion section, 9 of the 10 subcategories are Christianity, with only 1 for “other religions”. Librarians began the work of “decolonizing” the categories quite a while back, and the Library of Congress uses a completely different system that is similar, but more open to changes.

Anyway, I’m ready for the 100s now, Philosophy…just one book? I learned everything I know about Philosophy from watching “The Good Place”…well, almost everything, but you should watch it if you get a chance. (It doesn’t count on the reading challenge.)

I decided to vary the library I visit, so throughout the month of January you may see me lurking at any of the branches, looking for the card catalogue.

We’re off for a Sunday Drive.


Hear Ye! Hear Ye! ‘Tis a Jubilee Year!

Time, Time, Time…see what’s become of me: in February of this year, I’ll turn Seventy…

I’ve been planning a year-long celebration of this momentous occasion ever since last February when I turned 69, wading bravely into my 70th year. At first, I thought I’d begin the festivities on my actual b-day, but now have decided that the entire year must be one of Jubilee. I share passing this landmark with nearly everyone who went to high school and nursing school with me, so I’m in good company. I’m hoping that all my friends – regardless of age — will come together for a Sonnystone Garden Party in July. Mark your calendars for that second week or so, and watch this spot for more info. If that doesn’t work for you, let’s just meet up for lunch sometime this year!

In addition to planning this gala, I’m looking forward to finally taking that Long Drive in Goldie, visiting the New Yorkers on St. Paddy’s Day, and more WDW (of course). I hope to get the Family History printed and there will be changes to the blog. It’s time to pull out the mandolin and brush up on some chords. Bring on fresh piano music! Refresh my reading challenge and strive again for 24 books this year. Maybe Windsor, England? Amtrak sounds like fun. Jubilee years are packed with pleasure, so here we go!

Resolutions? Ha! I plan to stay healthy, happy, and Curious… There’s still so much I want to learn, especially the stuff I thought I already knew…