Today’s theme is “Lost Love.” Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to about a love you lost. Is it a person? A pet? An object? It’s up to you.

Some of you know from reading my blog my grandson, Johnny was killed a year ago by a fluke dirt bike accident on July 1st, 2019. Johnny was 13 years old. He was my eldest son’s only son. I wasn’t sure our family was going to recover from the loss, it was touch and go for a while with my son. He was consumed with guilt for he had let Johnny buy the bigger dirt bike the day before. No one expected it to be an issue because Johnny had been riding dirt bikes for years. Hold your children or grandchildren tightly because you never know.

I’m going to redirect this conversation to a less painful loss. Since Vic and I’ve been together we’ve had to take two of our feline fur babies to the vets to end their suffering.  I’ll share a little about each with you.

Quasimoto was our Maine coon cat and in his prime weighed thirty six pounds. People often commented on his footprints in the driveway in Maine because they thought a bobcat was hanging around. Yes, he had huge feet. I rescued him at Agway where I used to live so he spent his youth with me until I began dating Vic. We lived 8 hours apart at the time so when I went to visit I took Quasi, Purryl, and Yeatsie with me for the weekends. Quasi was never keen about the car rides so once Vic and I decided we were taking our relationship to the next level, Quasi was the first one to relocate. He enjoyed spending time in the new house with Vic alone.

Purryl I rescued here in New Jersey on one of my early visits Quasi was at home in Maine with one of my friends checking on him. She was on the back deck and it was really cold. I initially thought she couldn’t get over the five foot fence but when I picked her up I realized there was a lot more to the story. Vic at the time didn’t have cats but he did have tunafish. She devoured it and then a bowl of water. Cats don’t consume food or water in one setting. I asked Vic to go to the pet store and get a litter box and food for her. We posted signs at the development office but no one replied. I took Purryl back to Maine with me. I didn’t bring her directly home, I had called my vet and he waited up for me. Yeah, in Maine we still have vets who will do that. Purryl was malnourished, dehydrated still and had an infection. He put her on antibiotics, neutered her for me and three days later she joined our family. The vet estimated her age at two.

Quasi developed later in life thyroid issues and that became a constant juggling act of medicine doses but unfortunately they couldn’t do anything for his renal failure. We had to put him to sleep in May of 2012. He no longer could control his body functions. Quasi was just shy of his 20th birthday in August.

Purryl also had urinary issues but the vet determined hers was from the malnutrition days before us. It was a lifetime of special food and constant urinary infections for her. In April of 2019, Purryl stopped eating, she wouldn’t take food. I took her to the vet, she had been losing weight that winter but I hadn’t realized it was that much. She was a furry cat that hid her actual body. The blood work determined she was dying of renal failure as well. Her kidneys were backing up into body and poisoning her. Purryl had just turned 20 if the vet’s estimation was correct. I know she lived with us 18 wonderful years.

We still have Yeats and Macavity but when it comes their time I will not be replacing them. I’m a firm believer that when we reach a certain age we need to consider our life expectancy in addition to our pets. I’m a cat fan , both of my sons have dogs and my cat’s aren’t used to being around dogs. My daughter has a cat but cat’s are fickle creatures you can’t force them to co-habitat. I will out live Yeats who’s 16 and Macavity who’s 6. Unfortunately we will most likely be taking Macavity next if the doctor’s diagnosis is correct he has a heart condition. He’s taking the same medication for congestive heart failure as my ex-husband did before he passed. How strange is that? I see everyday as a blessing with our boys.

I look at life in a very practical manner. Our pets are part of our family and shouldn’t be bounced around from home. It’s not fair to them. We’ve made a commitment to be their parents for the duration of their lives but as much as I love cats I cannot make that same promise to another cat. I’ll volunteer at shelters and contribute that way.



Continent Hopping day Adelaide, Australia


We’re hoping on The Ghan for one of the world’s great train journeys. Travel through the heart of Australia in luxury while enjoying the all-inclusive food and beverages, well-appointed cabins and the Off Train Excursions that allow you to get a feel for the places the train travels through.


30 day prompt, check out these links and discuss. You must discuss a minimum of 3 of the links. I’m very aware there’s a lot of reading to do but if we were actually traveling we wold be looking things up too and trying to figure out what to see and what to skip to maximize out enjoyment.


my response: We’re traveling where John McDouall Stuart explored in 1859, and it would later become the path for telegraph cables. Can you imagine how amazing it must have felt to have communication from point a to point b? We take it for granted everytime we just grab our cell phones.


my response: Alice Springs was a surprise, I felt like it was mirage at first. I blinked to make sure I wasn
t imagining it. Come to find out it’s the largest city in the Northern Territory and there’s tons of art and cultural exhibits, great food and clean bathrooms. I don’t know about you but I prefer my bathroom not to be moving. Yeah, I know I’m showing my age with this comment. I felt so guilty seeing the Kangaroo Sanctuary after knowing some of our group had kangaroo for dinner. They’re so adorable, especially when the little ones pop their heads up to look around.


My response: It’s sad that the desert park has remained closed to the public because of covid-19.


My response: Wow, the video gave some insight how the medical services work in the remote areas of Australia. 90 years of servicing rural Australia I can’t imagine not being able to walk into a doctor’s office if needed. Though with covid, it certainly has changed a lot. My yearly physical exam is coming right up and it’s business as usual except that I have to have my temperature checked prior to entering and confirm I haven’t been in contact with anyone. But there’s a huge difference when you don’t have the same instant access to the news, to medical facilities and household necessities to maintain your safety like bleach, masks, and hand santizers.

we’ll be dining in https://journeybeyondrail.com.au/guest-information/food-beverage/queen-adelaide-…

My response: It wasn’t five star but not for lack trying. The decor was interesting. The food presentation on the plates definitely could have been what you would see in Manhattan. I’m glad there were three courses because I’m a hearty eater and the portions could have been larger especially after being outside all day. I was starving.

BCoF prompt is about Australian literature:


Scroll through the different sections and discuss things you know about authors and the topic they wrote about.

My response: My first exposure to Australian authors was a children’s writer named Ethel Turner. She wrote Seven Little Australians which takes us on the adventures with these mischievous children. Until looking it up I had no idea that it was first published in 1894 and is still in print today. How cool is that?

Alternate prompt sent by Neva. Day 4 we catch a Ghan train in Adelaide. Have you ever ridden a train? What was it like? If you haven’t ridden a train what do you think it would be like?.

My response: I have ridden a train from Trenton, New Jersey to New York City. On another trip I went from New York to Boston with the older granddaughters where we met their mother and then they rode the train back onto Maine. And other occasions I’ve gone from Portland Maine to Boston and back to do holiday shopping. My most recent trips were to meet Vic in DC when he was working there, I’d leave out of Trenton, New Jersey which is 8 minutes from my house and three hours later I would be meeting him in DC for the weekend. I love riding on trains so this part of our trip is delightful. My only complaint is the bathroom moves, what can I say I’m getting older.

I’m enjoying spending times with the ladies in the dining car, enjoying coffee and tea as we all compare our adventures.

Continent Hopping Day 3 Sydney, Australia


30DBC+Aug+2020Another day on our virtual continent hopping adventure. Reading and engaging on each other’s blogs makes it fun just like when we comment here on wordpress.

Take advantage and do your laundry and whatever because we’re going to be roughing it on a train next.
we’re all staying at Hilton Sydney.

30 day prompt:
There are a lot of great things to do and see in Sydney but you have one day so pick from the links what appeals to you and discuss what you discovered. Make us envious. Let your imagination get carried away.



My response: I really wanted to see the beach after being on ice the last two days. Bondi Beach is on the Australian Heritage List, and is also noteworthy for holding the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot, with 1010 bikini-clad women taking part. I wonder if we could set our own Guiness Book record with virtual travel blogging.
It was nice to simple walk and dip my toes in the warm water.
I decided after seeing Wies’s excitement about the bridge climb I joined her. Wow, it’s the largest steel arch bridge in the world, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic landmark spanning one of the finest natural harbours known to mankind. Opened in 1932, the bridge is fondly nicknamed the Coathanger by Sydneysiders. You can walk and cycle across the bridge or climb to the top for stunning views. They’re right the view is stunning and then some. I took at least 200 pictures, so glad I bought a larger memory card for my Nikon.
I decided to end my sightseeing with Botanical Gardens and the Taronga Zoo. I set my phone so I would only be at the gardens for an hour. Thank goodness, I discovered the Choo Choo express, it offers a quick, scenic way to get around the gardens. The guide was very knowledgeable as well as entertaining.
The Targona Zoowas my highest priority, I really wanted to see a Tasmanian devil. They don’t look nothing like the cartoon version. I lucked out again because it’s quite a large zoo, and discovering  the zoo train and the Sky Safari was perfect so I would still have some energy to check out the nightlife.
I’ll sleep when I’m dead, I decided to give the 4-hour historic pub crawl a try, it took us to four of the oldest pubs in the city. We learned about the sometimes-seedy, always fascinating history of the area: gang life, brothels, unsolved murders and more. Man, I wish you could have seen Nanna’s, Neva’s, Apondia’s , Wies’s faces when our guide began his cocky spiel. Oh man the accent was so thick at times but hilariously entertaining.


Take advantage and do your laundry and whatever because we’re going to be roughing it on a train next.
we’re all staying at Hilton Sydney.

Prompt: Discuss one athlete and one actor or actress from Sydney. I’ve provided you a link with lots of options. Please, don’t write a book report, instead write an interaction you had with them or something you saw them do that amused you and why. Let your imagination go wild.

My response: Oh my, oh my that can’t possibly be Hugh Jackman at the bar talking with a woman. Oh, he was amazing in Les Miserables. I decide to venture a bit closer to grab a picture. Double bonus he’s talking with Claudia Karvan.  She was on Dancing with the Stars this spring.My hand is shaking so bad, damn it these pictures are going to suck.
Hugh Jackman asked if I needed help. He took my phone and snapped selfies with me and him and then pics of Claudia and me and then the three of us. I always thought he was nice but man he’s sweeter than I imagined.
I remember reading this blurb “With over a decade and a half of experience, Jackman has acquired the label of “Nicest Guy in Hollywood.” He’s opted out of a disingenuous media-friendly facade for a more honest and direct projection of himself, oftentimes disregarding the advice from publicists who say that he moves his hands too much, or shouldn’t talk about a certain topic or express himself in a certain way.” and thinking yeah right, well its true.


FDDA#3, letter c-day 72

Today’s theme is “Monday.” Share a story, a poem, a photo, a drawing, some music, or whatever you wish to about your Monday. What do Mondays mean to you. Do you hate Mondays? Love them? Do you not care, one way or the other, about Mondays? It’s up to you. #FDDA or Fandango’s Dog Days of August.


I’ve never been a fan of Monday especially when I was working outside the home. I had lots of nicknames for the day Mundane Monday, Maniac Monday, Moving Monday, Make Me Monday…sometimes even Musical Monday or Magical Monday all of them were the result of my weekend whether I hoped it wouldn’t end, or there were just too much or too little to make me want to participate. I know its all about attitude but when you’re young and naive you don’t see yourself as having attitudes and after awhile all those Motivational Monday quotes run together.

In this stage of the game Monday is just another day, they tend to run all together now especially with COVID and being retired. They’ve simply become Montage Monday.

I’ve chosen to share a Dr. Suess style acrostic poem I wrote called Nonsense. I enjoy writing acrostics because they force your brain to think outside the box and tell a story differently in a poem. Acrostic Poetry is where the first letter of each line spells a word, usually using the same words as in the title. If you read it out loud you’ll hear the Dr. Suess’s voice creep in.


Nickel Jefferson jumps up
Only the FDR dime lies flat
No, no we count, count
Says, says who, who
Everybody at the bank
Nay says Washington quarter
Smiling Kennedy flips up
Every Lincoln copper penny!

What is happening today for me. I’m mulling over lots of things like what I want to sell to reduce the clutter before our move. A lifetime of stuff, guilty as charged because when I left my old house I didn’t downsize very much I simply took it with me which unfortunately is now biting me in the butt as I look around. We combined two households into one and now it’s got to go to reduce the cost of move. So another m word comes into play must go or sell.

Thinking of another m word, memory. Back when I was married to my first husband we didn’t have a lot of money for furniture. So we had bought two Adirondack chairs that we sat in at night outside in the yard because we didn’t own a television so our entertainment was cribbage around a fire in the yard. If it was rainy, we’d sit at the kitchen table. Once the nights started getting cooler we lugged our chairs inside for the winter. They became our living room furniture. You make the best of what you have. I remember how excited we were when we bought our 19 inch black and white television the chairs ended up being inside more than out. We ended up getting inside and out Adirondack chairs because they cost a lot less than a living set. We saved up and bought the living set, we eventually owned for 20 years.

Which reminds me of a song from those old days by William DeVaughn, Be Thankful for What You Got. I’ve come a long way from those days but reality is certainly reminding me that Gratitude will only get me so far. I’ve got to get rid of these material excesses and move on. Will I really re-read all of these books? Stop mulling girl and Make it Happen.

Culinary addition should be meatloaf Monday to stay with the m theme but I’m craving Mexican so I’m going with enchiladas… I have lots of freshly picked banana peppers to add some heat. Mexican Monday, yummy!


I picked a colander full of tomatoes and peppers so the tropical storm doesn’t damage them. I was pleasantly surprised to find cucumbers ready to pick so I grabbed them too.

Cancer toolkit additions today:

Quinoa is anti-inflammatory.

Radishes are also anti-inflammatory and improve digestion but did you know the sulfur goes right to the liver and gall bladder increasing the flow of bile to aid in detoxifying treatments.  I’m all for getting toxic crap out.



“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

In my virtual travel blog on WDC, we’re now in Sydney Australia. I’ll be posting that in a separate entry.

Guess my Monday isn’t as mundane as I originally thought when I set down to write this post. I didn’t dwell on the letter c or let the rescheduling of my primary care doctor’s appointment become the focus of this entry.  Life is what it is. Magical ❤

“Once cancer happens it changes the way you live for the rest of your life.” – Hayley Mills


Fandango’s Dog Days of August, & letter-c day 71


#FDDA  Prompt is Blog

I began blogging back in 2012 initially on blogger. com but then I switched to Writing.com because I felt like I needed inspiration and the prompts offered that. I then became a leader and haven’t looked back. I run two different blogging groups there. With that said, I still found myself seeking inspiration so I joined the WordPress community. However there wasn’t many prompts available as there is now. I find the prompts take me in different directions which lead to new friends. That’s a bonus. Interacting with people from all over the world is fun as well as inspiring.

My blog serves multiple purposes for me. One, it gives me a place to share how my day is going and things that I have learned on this cancer journey. I find it very helpful connecting with others. Two, I get to share my poetry. Three, it gave me a place to process my grief after my grandson died. Four, I’m expanding my network with my attempts of the different blogging prompts.

What I’ve discovered from other bloggers is music that I wasn’t familiar, life styles,  cultures, social commentary, and even some great book reviews.


Speaking of books, I’ve just started reading Mexican Gothic by Silva Moreno-Garcia. Woohoo, not to give any spoiler alerts but the family intrigue is awesome.

I’m still plugging my way through diyMFA and Steering the Craft, two books on writing. I believe authors should always be looking for inspiration on improving their craft.


This is where I share what I’m preparing for dinner in addition to helpful tips for fighting cancer that you have already in your kitchen. Today, we’re having basil pesto on pasta with garlic toast. Nothing spectacular today, trying to multi task all over the place.

Parsley is an appetite stimulant no wonder restaurants put it on almost every dish that comes out. But did you also know it was a digestive aid and it was anti-inflammatory.

Peppermint is a also a digestive aid in addition to its other charming traits anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. I know with my first cancer peppermint helped a lot with the nausea. I suck on peppermints when I have indigestion or gas because it helps me.

Pineapple is anti-inflammatory.

Potato is an anti-oxidant and are loaded with loaded with Vitamin B6.






Everyday, I pick a song that gives an indication of my mood overall. It helps my family and friends judge their interaction. Overall, thus far I’ve only been angry a few times and it’s been more because of how frustratingly slow the medical community works. I’m ten days out from the next diagnostics, this covid crap has really played havoc on scheduling.

This song appealed because I feel like I am stuck in a world where I’m looking in but not actually participating on the same level but my work is equally as important to me as it to them.. This emotion is driven more by recent conversations about accountability to our craft (writing) and silent partners.

I have lots of poetry, there’s no doubt I do dedicate serious time to my craft but, yeah there’s always a huge one of them looming. I’m expanding my core by writing vignettes in addition to my blogs. I don’t have the same confidence level when it comes to my vignettes as I do my poetry. However, when I do share it with my writing group, it’s clear they’re not able to critique it or offer valuable input. Then when I’ve shared some of my vignettes again there’s a huge disconnect with my intent versus how they see stories should unfold.

My blogs are simply me writing. I typically use them as warm up writing but there have been times when I use them as a closing to my day. I have no desire to bring them into the writing group for discussion. Nor do I want anyone making edits. GRRRR, they are what they are…. unedited stream of consciousness.

So this is where I feel like I dwell in a ghost town because I’m not sure if I’m really their people or if some of them are really mine.



Whoa, oh, whoa, oh
I’m a ghost
Living in a ghost town
I’m a ghost
Living in a ghost town
You can look for me
But I can’t be found
You can search for me
I had to go underground
Life was so beautiful
Then we all got locked down
Feel a like ghost
Living in a ghost town, yeah
Once this place was humming
And the air was full of drumming
The sound of cymbals crashing
Glasses were all smashing
Trumpets were all screaming
Saxophones were blaring
Nobody was caring if it’s day or night
Whoa, oh, whoa, oh
I’m a ghost
Living in a ghost town
I’m going nowhere
Shut up all alone
So much time to lose
Just staring at my phone
Every night I am dreaming
That you’ll come and creep in my bed
Please let this be over
Not stuck in a world without end
Whoa, oh, whoa, oh
Whoa, oh, whoa, oh, oh…
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Keith Richards / Michael Jagger
Living In A Ghost Town (Remix) lyrics © BMG Rights Management



Song Lyric Sunday


Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the prompt is Acquire/Collect/Gather/Secure.

img_0406This week we have the accumulation related prompts of Acquire/Collect/Gather/Secure and hopefully this will fit for everyone.  

I’m going with Alabama’s She and I because my interpretation is more than simply using the words suggested in the prompt. She and I are secure in their love in the song. They did acquire or collect things over time in their relationship. And they did get together with their friends so they did gather. So I feel the prompt is covered on many levels.

She and I” is a song written by Dave Loggins, and recorded by American country music band Alabama. It was released in December 1985, as the only single from their first Greatest Hits compilation album.

The song was their 19th consecutive No. 1 song on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April 1986, ~ wikipedia


She and I live in our own little world
Don’t worry about the world outside
She and I agree
She and I lead a perfectly normal life
Ah but just because we aren’t often seen socially
People think we’ve got something to hide.
But all our friends know we’re just a little old fashioned
She and I
Oh ain’t that great
Aint it fine
To have a love someone that others can’t find
Aint it wonderful to know all we ever need is just the two of us
She and I
So wonderful
She and I
She and I share with every body else
The same wants, needs and desires
She and I save
She and I pay on everything we acquire
Ah but just because we aren’t often seen separately
People think we live one life.
Its hard for them to see how anyone could be as close as
She and I
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: David Loggins
She and I lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
The background story on wikipedia is the song acknowledges marital lust. What’s wrong with that? If you’re married you should feel love and lust.
“Country music writer Tom Roland noted that the song “featured a barrage of unique sounds,” including a “strange drum effect” (the echo for each snare drum beat would end with a pop, instead of “decaying”). Also, the album version of the song featured a false ending (much like Elvis Presley‘s “Suspicious Minds“), whereby the song fades out before returning to full volume and then fading back out.” ~ wiki again.
I think the ending adds to the enjoyment of the song.
My experiences with this song are actually with my Maine coon cat Quasimoto. I’m not sure what part of the song appealed to him other than whenever I played the cd, he would come over and rub against me. I used to pick him up and waltz with him. He would purr so loud as we waltzed.
I miss my old boy, he was part of our family for 19 years and ten months. He was just shy of his twentieth birthday when he died. Quasi was a very affectionate cat, some of my favorite pictures of him are him snuggling with Yeatsie and Purryl. He always laid his head against theirs and then cross his feet would over theirs. The two cats bodies looked a heart.
Isn’t that just the sweetest? Quasi is on the right, and Yeats is on the left.

Continent Hopping Day 2


Zodiac Cruising – 30 day prompt

Go where your cruise ship can’t — hop aboard a small, sturdy inflatable boat and buzz between the icebergs and around the mountains. This is your chance to get an up-close look at some of the more cautious wildlife in the ocean, on land, and in the skies. It’s common for leopard seals, penguins, and other curious animals to pop up alongside to say hello. You’ll never feel so small in your life as you gaze up at the massive glaciers and icebergs from sea level. To call it a humbling experience would be an understatement.

Good to know: This activity is a big favorite of photographers. Zodiac cruising allows for more intimate viewing as well as an entirely different perspective.

Antarctica is the site of some of the world’s most cutting-edge research. There are dozens of scientific research centers here, and one of the most interesting things to do in Antarctica is to take a tour of one of these fascinating facilities. The Vernadsky Research Base on Galindez Island opens its doors to visitors all while studying everything from meteorology, ecology, biology, glaciology, seismology and physics. It was at this research station that the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered.

Another cool and unexpected aspect of this research center is the Vernadsky Station Lounge, one of the southernmost bars in the world. Try the vodka, which has been distilled on site. Bottoms up! We’re going to help examine green snow and check out the satellite studies of the visual evidence of climate change.


Good to know: The post office at the Vernadsky Station is one of the few places in all of Antarctica from where you can send a mail. Mailing a postcard will cost you around USD 2 while a letter (including stamps) is about USD 6*.

we’re still sleeping in our sleeping bags.


My response:

I’m really surprised at how rested I feel after sleeping in the bivy sac. Here I was worried about having to go pee and never actually getting enough sleep. That wasn’t the case at all. Maybe it had to do with all the fresh air I enjoyed while I kayaked and using muscles I haven’t in a while.

I had a shot of vodka with my coffee this morning. Unusual combination but I was surprised by how good the vodka is here. When you’re in Rome do as the Romans do so here I did what the Ukranian do.


What a cool museum and post office. I mailed a couple post cards to my family. I figured the grandchildren would enjoy seeing where I am. Originally it was a base station, then abandoned and the eventually restored as a historic sight. It was kind of sad seeing the abandoned base on Arrowsmith Peninsula from our rubberized boats.

I’m so glad we docked for awhile by the hot springs. The landscape reminded me of the old martian movies of the 60’s. Who knows, maybe that’s where they were filmed them back in the day. The biting cold really got my attention but once I slipped into the steaming water and the weight of the world vanished.

Our visit to the research center Vernadsky was fascinating especially with the discussion about the green snow. Damn it why are people refusing to see all the signs climate change is a reality. This green phenomena is very visible from outer-space and has spread immensely since it was first noted.


BCoF prompt:  Let this quote inspire your entry: 

“ I had a dream when I was 22 that someday i would go to the region of ice and snow and go on and on till i came to one of the poles of the earth”― Ernest Shackleton

Have you ever dreamed about seeing one of the poles?  Where’s your ideal dream place?  This entry needs to be minimum of 100 words.


My response:

I never dreamed of going to the poles like Mr. Shackleton did but I did dream of traveling to unknown places. Antarctica does fall into the unknown category. Who knew there was so much to see? I’ve been enjoying exploring and reading all the different links. I was surprised that over 20,000 tourists a year do actually go to Antarctica.Not as many as my ideal destination.

My ideal dream place is still Jamaica. I fell in love with the island back in 2006. It has a diverse population, excellent rum and pineapple, (two of my favorites) and temperatures that I love. The only drawback for me at this time is the imposed quarantine for cats. I love my babies but I could never subject them to living in a cage for the extended time involved. Sadly, that is why we haven’t relocated. I’m hoping Vic and I will have one more opportunity to go there in our life time. The people and the food were awesome. I was very amused with the sim-up bars. My daughter and I floated from one to the next while we were at family owned hotel in Ocho Rios.

Jamaica is taking COVID-19 serious and right now it is closed to all international visitors. They’re making the necessary changes needed to handle social distancing.


letter c day 70

This quote so fits this letter-c journey. “Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.”― Ernest Shackleton I couldn’t agree more.  The letter-c  doesn’t define me, it doesn’t control me nor will it ever be the end of me. Positive outlooks are key for any health battle. “Superhuman effort isn’t worth a damn unless it achieves results.”― Ernest Shackleton

On that note, I’m going to take you to my song choice for the day by Pink, A Million Dreams.  I think all the time about all the dreams I haven’t accomplished yet. I look at all the things I’ve collected a long the way but there’s still those missing elusive ones I want. Letter-c won’t deter me.

Writing has always felt elusive to me because I was guilty of looking at myself through the eyes of others, judging instead of appreciating every word I did put on the page in spite of the situation. Many of you aren’t aware of  the darker times of my life, the demon aka my first husband, who took great pleasure in undermining me. He wrote his name on everything I wrote. When I’ve told people that, they looked at me like I have three heads but then when I hand them my journals they hang their heads because they had no idea what kind of man he was.  It took a lot for my muse to gain the confidence to break free of the toxin. Now, when I look at these journals, I see documented proof I wasn’t diminished by his actions instead I became stronger.



I put the words on the page. They’re not perfect but they’re mine. I said to a good friend, “Art isn’t clean… if it is then you have a blank canvas, you haven’t painted yet.”~ Lyn Crain. Occasionally, I have gems.  Or in my case, my pages aren’t written yet. I know how destructive that self-critic is, but thankfully the letter-c has given me a nudge. Writing the vignettes isn’t always fun but then I’m reminded of Hunter S. Thompson’s quote, “writing is the most hateful kind of work, I suspect it’s a bit like fucking, which is only fun for amateurs. Old whores don’t do much giggling.”

I didn’t understand love when I  first began writing poetry but I knew it offered me a means to express my fears, my dreams even my anger. This one is from 2003 when I was feeling conflicted about the direction life was unfolding.

Love denied me,

 offering instead sharp and bloody thorns

hidden behind fragile blooms.

 Its flattery prose was spoken softer

than a petal’s caress teasing

my smoldering heart to waken

before dousing it with


I’ve never chosen a name for it. There are times when I simply think Reality Check works as the title but the less skeptical me knows love exists but at that time I didn’t believe it was possible.


Continent Hopping Day 1


So the references make sense I’m a leader in three different blogging groups on Writing. com. In 30 Day Blogging Group, I’m only a leader in August because I host this crazy travel adventure whereas  in the other two groups I send out writing prompts along with Neva, Joy, and Megan. We’re an awesome team.

The August adventure I compile all the research and then send out everyday, the prompts for each group, which are broken down into sections so each blogger has the option of doing one or both.

Day 1

30 day Activities :Kayaking with the whales and watching penguins and sampling local cuisine.

30 day Camping in Antarctica isn’t an activity for everyone — cozying up on the frozen ground in sub-zero temperatures isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you’re willing to sacrifice the luxuries of a comfy bed surrounded by four walls, you’re in for one of the coolest sleepovers you’ll ever have. While every boat tour company’s “campground” varies, one option could be Hovgaard Island on the west-facing side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Some outfitters provide tents while others opt for a more au natural experience of only a waterproof, cold weather sleeping bag (bivy sack) and thermal mat. Sleeping under the infinite number of Antarctica’s twinkling stars is a surreal experience and knowing there’s nothing between you and all of Antarctica’s frozen glory is truly a magical feeling. I’ve chosen the au natural for us.
Men need to increase their caloric intake to 4500 and women to 3900 to handle the temperatures. I’m assured we won’t gain weight.


My response to the prompt.

It’s exciting to see what I’ve missed on my unlikely to do bucket list at my age. If I was younger and this was in my price range for vacations, oh I would have definitely done this. Being a Mainer, cold didn’t deter me so sleeping under the stars is extremely appealing especially with aurora borealis or actually since we’re in the south aurora australis as a backdrop. Southern auroras are not often seen as they are concentrated in a ring around Antarctica and the southern Indian Ocean. So this experience is beyond amazing for me. Did you know the name Aurora in Roman mythology means Goddess of the Dawn> Many cultural groups have legends about the lights. “In medieval times, the occurrences of auroral displays were seen as harbingers of war or famine. The Maori of New Zealand shared a belief with many northern people of Europe and North America that the lights were reflections from torches or campfires. The Menominee Indians of Wisconsin believed that the lights indicated the location of manabai’wok (giants) who were the spirits of great hunters and fishermen. The Inuit of Alaska believed that the lights were the spirits of the animals they hunted: the seals, salmon, deer and beluga whales. Other aboriginal peoples believed that the lights were the spirits of their people.” ~

My experiences in a kayak until now were always on a lake or river. I’m not worried about navigating the kayak only the possibility of being that close to a whale. Part of me says, Oh yeah and the other part says no f-ing way. But then you’re also talking with the girl who met a moose that had just surfaced in the middle of the lake. The moose was devouring the green algae from the bottom of the lake and came up for air right in front of me. I did some serious back stroking, and it kept on munching totally unfazed. Yes, they can swim and do go under water quite frequently to get food especially during the heat of the summer.

Kayaking in a group is novel to me, my past experiences have been with one person or alone so I’m enjoying myself. I have to agree about getting a camera out of a dry bag isn’t easy. I’m so glad I opted for the disposal water proof cameras. Hopefully, I don’t drop it in the water, too dang cold to want to make a dive for it. I tucked one of my cameras inside my wet suit on a neck chain so I could get to it quicker so I could get pictures. The seals are amazing thus far, really hoping we do see a whale. I didn’t know how playful penguins are until now, we’re the least of their concerns today. I still can’t get over how clear and smooth the water is when we sit still, it’s like we’re looking a large glass windows with our reflections.



BCoF Are you familiar with any of these authors or books? or discuss one of these quotes:

“Antarctica. You know, that giant continent at the bottom of the earth that’s ruled by penguins and seals.” ― C.B. Cook, Twinepathy

“I want to visit the snow in Antarctica before global warming turns it into a tropical paradise.”― Steven Magee


I’m not familiar with any of the authors but after glancing at the list, there’s a couple I have added to my reading list. First would be, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, by Alfred Lansing. I can’t imagine the horror Shackleton must have mentally endured knowing his ship was stuck in the ice. Just thinking about how does one motivate one’s self to keep doing everything possible to stay alive versus simply accepting death. His actions set the pace/ mindset for his crew.
According to wikipeidia, “Disaster struck this expedition when its ship, Endurance, became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. The crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated, then by launching the lifeboats to reach Elephant Island and ultimately South Georgia Island, a stormy ocean voyage of 720 nautical miles (1,330 km; 830 mi) and Shackleton’s most famous exploit. In 1921, he returned to the Antarctic with the Shackleton–Rowett Expedition, but died of a heart attack while his ship was moored in South Georgia. At his wife’s request, he was buried there.” Shacleton was never at ease at home with his family. Antarctica was in his blood.

“Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.”― Ernest Shackleton

The second book that captured my interest was Alone by Richard Byrd. In 1928 Byrd’s photographic and geological studies got him promoted again to Rear Admiral. He had already earned that rank in WWII but had taken a demotion to be involved in the Cross-Atlantic studies being conducted by the Navy. He was hooked, his love for Antarctica continued forward. However according to wikipeida, this is where the story gets dangerous and became the base for the book. “On his second expedition in 1934, Byrd spent five winter months alone operating a meteorological station, Advance Base, from which he narrowly escaped with his life after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from a poorly ventilated stove. Unusual radio transmissions from Byrd finally began to alarm the men at the base camp, who then attempted to go to Advance Base. The first two trips were failures due to darkness, snow, and mechanical troubles. Finally, Thomas Poulter, E.J. Demas, and Amory Waite arrived at Advance Base, where they found Byrd in poor physical health. The men remained at Advance Base until October 12 when an airplane from the base camp picked up Dr. Poulter and Byrd. The rest of the men returned to base camp with the tractor.[3] This expedition is described by Byrd in his autobiography Alone. It is also commemorated in a U.S. postage stamp issued at the time, and a considerable amount of mail using it was sent from Byrd’s base at Little America.”

I’m looking forward to experiencing these men’s journey through their eyes. I wonder what they would think about what is happening now with climate change.

“Half the confusion in the world comes from not knowing how little we need.”― Richard E. Byrd


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