letter-c day 46

46 consecutive days of blogging almost a record for me. I made it 90 days one another time. Maybe I’ll surpass my previous record this time.

The weather alerts are blowing up our phones. The sky went from a hazy blue to a very definitive stormy looking one. Yay, no lugging water for my veggies, or dragging the water hose around for the flower gardens. Speaking of flower beds, I posted a couple of years back a picture of my rose bush. I couldn’t believe how much it has grown since then.

They’ve completely covered the fence and grown over to the hostas. They’re very happy with their coffee grounds, chopped banana peels and eggshells every month and corn meal every March and September.

Charlie Daniels passed today. He was 83.  He’s probably most noted for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” a 1979 song about a fiddling duel between the devil and a whippersnapper named Johnny, Daniels originally called the devil a “son of a bitch,” but changed it to “son of a gun.”  I love how he made a fiddle sound. He was the best, although Alison Krauss and Mark O’Connor tried to outshine him.

Just like there is no other guitar player that can top Jimi Hendrix. I know Chuck Berry, Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton all tried but no way.

Just like when it comes to saxophones, no one can top John Coltrane in my opinion. He knows how to make it come alive. My favorites vary but I know what I love. Some say my music taste are eclectic.


My music, my reading choices, my hobbies are all signs of a well lived life because they all show how it has evolved continously. For that matter my friend choices are from all different walks of life and ages.

Books I’m currently reading are Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Gile Hilton. It’s a fascinating behind the scenes of the UK and Hitler in the early days. I’m working my way through Ursula Le Guin’s Steering the Craft, Lisa Cron’s Wired for Story and Writing the Life Poetic by Sage Cohen. Churchill I save for nighttime. The writing books I use during the day as stimuli for my writing and editing. My muse needs lots of guidance. Sometimes my rebellious muse needs more than words so I grab my camera which I did over the weekend. This was a shot I captured of a seagull just after it took flight at sunrise.DSC_0183

I’m working on a short story for Esther Chilton’s contest with the line required and this picture as my muse.  I didn’t know what had happened. Not at first. And then I knew.  I’m having fun working on it, which considering all that’s on my plate I need this kind of distraction. I’ll post it when I’m done.

My sweater crochet project has 8 new rows on it. I would have been further but I discovered I dropped several stitches which really changed the alignment of the double crochet clusters. So I had to rip some out. GRRRR

Letter-c  in case your wondering, I’ve got you shoved to the back of my mind. I can’t/ won’t allow more of my time, it’s bad enough you’re stealing my sleep still. I barely sleep as it is and you’re stealing that. One more day of mindless waiting. Though I’m dreading more delays, which I know is probably likely because the doctor will want to wait for the diagnostic tests on August 11th. That makes you happy doesn’t it, letter-c.   I’m going to keep my food battle against you in high gear, so don’t go smirking too much.

 More Culinary tools for fighting cancer

Cashews, yummy. Even better they’re copper rich and have the potential for suprressing tumors.

Cauliflower, we discussed yesterday with cabbage.

Celery is an anti-inflammatory. It’s also great for reducing blood pressure, too!

I have a funny story about celery. Back in school bus driving days , I would take a whole of celery, washed and cut into pieces with me everyday while I drove. I had done this for months consecutively. I complained about feeling light headed so I went to the hospital. The triage nurse couldn’t believe I had driven a school bus to the hospital with my blood pressure so low. Come to find out, you can overdo celery. Don’t eat it excessively, it does reduce your blood pressure. I already had low blood pressure so I compounded the situation.

Nothing exciting on the menu today, using the remainder of the  tuna casserole left-overs Right now I’m thinking about a chunk of sharp cheese and a granny smith apple to tie me over. Trying to keep my stress eating reined in, too!

Birthday approaching

Hard to believe CJ’s going to be 16 on the tenth of this month. CJ, is my second son, Chris’s boy. CJ already towers over me and I’m not short for my age.  Nor is his dad short and CJ is really close to passing him too. The doctor thought CJ would be easily 6 foot 7. He’s got a helluva start.

In my youth, I was 6 foot, now at least according to the last doctor’s appointment I’m 5 foot 10 inches. They lie to you about the golden years on every level. It’s more than getting old… you get creak and groans, you shrink, and your body malfunctions. WTF?????

it leaves you quick
and it never comes back”
― Emmy Marucci


“I was thinking about how people seem to read the bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me—they’re cramming for their final exam.” ― George Carlin


I haven’t taken up reading the bible so I guess I have time yet.











letter-c day 45

Two days more to go before the initial meeting with the gastric oncologist. This waiting is so frustrating. Time to me feels like pouring the dredges of honey from a bottle. January 8th is when all the crap began. They removed my gallbladder on the 13th. Nothing has been right since.  I’m very aware things take time and COVID-19 has complicated stuff but…cancer works on it’s own schedule not ours.

I couldn’t focus yesterday. I was even sure I would actually get a post for day 44 done but I did. It wasn’t one of my best that’s for sure. Though I did share some beautiful flower pictures from our walk in Lambertville.  The daisies made me smile.


When I was young, I used to walk on the Horn of the Moon road in East Montpelier by the Wrightsville Dam picking daisies. I would weave them together and then wear them on my long red hair.  My crown of daisies lifted me from the drudgery. I was my siblings’ parent while our actual parents were in Connecticut running around with their liasons. Yeah, they both had lovers on the side. My father worked nights and my mother days so the timing worked well for their cheating selfs.

My sister used to pluck the petals and ask does he love me, or does he not. I never did. I didn’t want anyone to have that kind of control of my heart. Instead, I wanted to be riding off into battle dressed in armor with a daisy crown.


Apathy and Evil
Under a full moon, the wind ripped silent
that night in the overgrown cemetery.
Headstones cracked and leaned valiant
better than the local constabulary.
The decomposed body lies prominent
exposed, no one cared who did the treachery.
Eyes filled with indifference, so convenient
like everything in this small town sanctuary.


The daisies reminded me of the night I snuck to the cemetery for the first time when I was eleven after my siblings were asleep.  The nearest one from my grandfathers camp involved me walking across the Wrightsville Dam  Road and then down Route 12 for about a half mile then up the Bolio Road to the graveyard. I randomly laid daisy crowns on the worn headstones of my family members. That summer the nightly explorations became a favorite thing for me because I used to imagine the person’s life. The stories I would write about them. Writing has always brought me enjoyment.

This poem came about after re-reading my diary stories from my summer jaunts to the cemetery. I had written a story about a constabulary being killed and his body abandoned in the cemetery. No one looked there for his body. It wasn’t discovered until someone had been buried there the following year. He wad so disliked they simply left his body exposed with no investigation to follow.

I did love to wander a lot at night without my parents, or my grandparents ever knowing where I was.  Sleep wasn’t important to me. Maybe that’s why I have such good night vision. When I think back on all the things I did without ever thinking about the danger… I was a fearless child. Sometimes, I wish I had that kind of fearlessness now.


Tuna Casserole on this crazy humid ninety-four degree day.  I’m going to load my casserole with carrots and peas. We’re having a side salad with fresh picked kale, swisschard, and beetgreens with honeydew and cranberries. Yummy!

I wish the thunderstorms would come earlier today and cool things down. I love the energy of a thunderstorms, don’t you?

On Facebook, there’s a Lawrenceville community page and there was a bunch of posts about the firework noise. People need to release some of the tension with all this social distancing but of course some one has to be a downer. I wonder if they want Mother Nature arrested too because the thunder storms we’ve been having since this heat wave began are loud.

I’ll toss a couple more culinary cancer tools for you to know.

Cabbage like the cruciferous veggies, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Bok Choy, Broccoli and Turnip is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. The key is not over-cooking it so you preserve the sinigrin compound that detoxifies carcinogens and inhibits tumor cell growth.

Cantalope is also anti-inflammatory with tons of Vitamin A.

Cardamon is a digestive aid and anti-inflammatory.  It’s great for digestive issues by simply chewing on cardamon seeds. Bonus you get fresh breath too! Cardamon may also reduce blood pressure, that’s an another added bonus.

Carrots are anti-inflammatory and also have tons of Vitamin A. The beta-carotene that gives carrots their lovely color helps us fight against lung, mouth, throat, stomach, intentinal, bladder,prostrate and breast… cancers. We should be eating carrots every day.

We made an early morning trek to the ocean. I really needed to recharge myself. There’s something about having my toes in the salty water and walking on the sand that refreshes me. I realized last night that’s what I truly needed. I hadn’t been in three months which is very unlike me.

One the ride back,  thought about the beach, people were socially distanced this morning. There was one family of three who arrived just before I was leaving that were doing their best to be in the moment. Dad helped his daughter fly her kite. She may have been three or four years old. Her joyous laughter filled the air. I miss the sound of happiness more than anything.

That leads me to my song choice today. Yeah I am very sentimental and sappy. I won’t deny it. It’s not the boy meets girl and falls in love part of this song that makes me smile as much as the perfect moment. Dancing barefoot on the grass, being together in that perfect moment. In the last two days, I’ve enjoyed perfect moments with Vic. We walked hand in hand on the canal. We sat together looking up at the beautiful Thunder Moon. We got up at 4:30 this morning to do an ocean pilgrimmage. We’ve played cribbage with coffee on the deck and in the kitchen.


Isn’t that what living in the moment is really about. letter-c , you have nothing to do with these perfect moments. My moments and dreams are mine always and forever.



Dear Johnny,


Your Dad has grayed a lot in the past year since you left us.  Gramma sees the sadness in his eyes all the time with out you. I thought of you a lot yesterday, you loved the fireworks so much.  Your cousin Olyvia and you share that in common.

If you can find a way, let Dad know you’re with him. I think he really needs a sign from you. Gramma and Grandpa wished we could have been there with him. I hate this virus that is forcing us to be socially distanced.

You’re both always on my mind, always in my heart as are Vic, Jacob, Chris, CJ, Amanda, Olyiva, Lael, Braylie, Mikhayla, Caitlyn, Marcia, Debbie, Janine, Sammy and Logan

oops I can’t forget my beloved fur babies. Fluffy, Quasimoto, Purryl, Angel, Yeats, and Macavity.

The biggest regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough.’







letter-c day 44


DSC_0010Do you ever feel stagnant? I opened my computer three times and stared at the scree, today. What could I possibly add to this blog I haven’t already said.

Initally, I read Churchill Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton because I was at a loss.. Then I grabbed another coffee, tossed cinnamon rolls in the oven and asked Vic to join me on the deck to play cribbage. It was comfortable the sun hadn’t reached us completely yet.

I came inside and read for awhile longer before trying a second time. I’m not usually at a loss for words but today I was. So I asked Vic if we could for a walk on the canal in Lambertville. We walked a mile. Yeah I know not very far but wearing a mask in ninety degrees does zap your energy fast. We did have water with us and did take water breaks but I still felt overheated.

There were lots of beautiful gardens  along the canal to visually stimulate me. The shasta daisies were my favorite. I took a bunch of different garden images to use later with my poems.

Once we got back to the car, I was surprised how red my face and neck were. I drank another bottle of water once I got home.



I used the left over filling from yesterday’s stuffed zucchini with shredded cabbage, garlic, and scallions. Sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top and sprinkled fresh chopped oregano. Yummy until I had to make the mad dash to the bathroom.  Not sure what exactly set me off. Thankfully, after the imodium handled it well. Just wish the shoulder pain would go away.

Still found myself staring at the computer.  So off again we went for a short ride and I snapped some pictures of the Thunder Moon behind the trees. Looking at the moon I remembered my grandparents waltzing to Fly Me to the Moon on their porch before my Gram became sick and ended up in a wheel chair. There was no mistaking they loved each other.DSC_0038 (2)

I had a  music crush on blue eyes (Frank Sinatra when I was young because I thought his songs always made me people happy. That’s what music is supposed to do isn’t it?  I uwas pretty lucky my grandparents loved music so I was exposed to Frank, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis or as my grandpa called them the rat pack.   He thought the media had nicknamed them right because they were good at scrambling from club to the next to perform. My grandma liked Tony Bennett and Tom Jones too. I remember hearing her sigh when Tom moved those hips.



“Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On a, Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me
Fill my heart with song
And let me sing for ever more
You are all I long for
All I worship and adore
In other words, please be true
In other words, I love you
Fill my heart with…”
Bart Howard, was the songwriter for ‘Fly Me to the Moon’. It was done by numerous musicians. My favorites were Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
Hope your 4th of July was everything you needed and more.

letter-c day 43


I was remembering Vic and my early dating times as I tried to decide upon a plan with the vignettes. Do I want to do ten year time frames with random stories or do I want to group a collection of stories that show my personal growth with happier memories. I’m tired of the bad crap always getting my focus.

This picture appeared in the facebook feed. We had been in Camden, Maine driving when I asked Vic to stop so we could simply enjoy the ocean’s salty smell. We walked around the town a bit enjoying the peacefulness of a small town after the tourists have left for the season. Vic loves snapping pictures which is uncomfortable for me. Usually it’s me behind the lens taking the photograph not being the one before the lens. I feel awkward because pretty and photogenic are things that don’t apply to me.

This photograph surprised me…  he captured the introspective me and the harbor lights beautifully.  Anyway, looking at the photograph Eric Clapton’s song came to mind. Do you remember Wonderful Tonight?

My very first date in person with Vic was at DeMillo’s in Portland, Maine. I didn’t have an extensive wardrobe. Shopping was never something I enjoyed or could afford to do. I decided to wear white dress shorts, a black tank top with a red mesh sweater over the tank to dine. Vic wore an orange and blue polo shirt and khakis. We were comfortably dressed for a summer night. The restaurant was a short drive from the hotel. Our view from the table was perfect as the sun set on the ocean. The candle glowed upon our food as we talked about different things.

I still remember how special he made me feel, opening the door, taking my hand as we walked around for a bit after dinner. These may seem like small things to you but prior to him… no one opened a door for me, or took my hand or even took me to a nice restaurant. It was a perfect first date.

I don’t say or write it as often I should but Vic is a loving kind man. He’s the perfect man for me. I feel wonderful whenever we’re together even when he’s beating me in cribbage. Our time together means so much to me.

We’ve shared many dates since in fancy restaurants and some not so fancy but with good food. He teases me because I tend to want to stay with places that make me feel like I’ve come home. Like this diner near us, its not fancy looking at all. It’s owned by a Turkish family that work well together. The food choices are many and the taste is excellent. But that’s not what keeps me wanting to go again. It’s the way we feel while there… as if we’re part of their family not a customer.  They remember what we like, how it’s prepared which is awesome. The small talk we exchange is genuine prior to ordering and after makes the evening for me.  Not many fancy places make that extra effort.

“It’s late in the evening; she’s wondering what clothes to wear
She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair
And then she asks me, Do I look all right?
And I say, “Yes, you look wonderful tonight
We go to a party and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady that’s walking around with me
And then she asks me, Do you feel all right?
And I say, “Yes, I feel wonderful tonight”
I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don’t realize how much I love you” ~ Eric Clapton




Tonight, we’re having stuffed zucchini since the ac is on. It’s humid as all get outside I don’t like running it but on days like today, it’s a necessary evil. So since we have climate control oven day it is. I wish I could say I picked the zucchini from my garden but soon. I have a buds with fruit behind them. And no more bunny or chipmunk invasions either.

More things for your culinary pharmacy-

Brazil nuts are selenium rich as well as anti-inflammatory which is helpful against colon and prostrate cancer but did you also know they’re helpful for your heart, brain and lowering your blood sugar. That’s a lot for your crunch.

Broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory. It can inhibit breast cancer growth as well as slowing leukemia and melanoma growth.

Buckwheat is another anti-inflammatory. It’s high fiber content helps regulate bowel movements as well speeding up the removal of toxins in our body.


I edited the short story that transpired from the prompt about an island suddenly appearing. I don’t know if i made it better or worse. 

Dear Johnny,

Last night, Dad shared a picture of Jacob at work with him.  Jacob was making him laugh. I’m glad for your Dad and Jacob that they have each other since you left us. You’re little brother looks so much like you. Except for one thing. He doesn’t hide his smiles like you always did.

I wish you could see Jacob choking the hammer as he nails. He looked more comfortable with the drill than he did the hammer. I wish I had taken pictures of you at that age using a hammer.

Zach has a tribute painted on the hood of both of his cars for you.  It looks so beautiful. Racing this year is crazy. The drivers and crew only at the track. No spectators allowed because of COVID-19. Zach missed a gear yesterday and didn’t finish where he hoped. I’m sure you can imagine the language that transpired.

This poem was reviewed on WDC today and it reminded me of the morning in the restaurant when you ordered my breakfast and then explained how I was wasting the waitress’s time by not knowing exactly how I wanted my food prepared. All that time you spent at the restaurant with Momma paid off. You taught us all.

two fried eggs on corned beef hash
sizzling in the pan
tantalizing my taste buds
with salty cravings
scrambled mess

Gramma and Grandpa love you always. We miss you. Maybe when you have a chance could you rattle all the chimes again for me.

“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri




Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson


Sunflower 🌻letter-c day 42



This beautiful sunflower was a gift from the birds that we feed. ❤️ I love her imperfections. Did you know sunflowers were chose as a symbol of peace after World War II. I wish there were more symbols of peace now instead of seeing the steady increase of gun sales.

Have you ever thought how much strength a sunflower must have to stand so tall in the scorching heat of the day and withstand the torrential downpours of Mother Nature. They’re amazing. And they feed the birds and squirrels for weeks after the summer season.

I worked in the front garden cleaning up after the landscapers pruned the shrubs. They don’t get into the beds other than to do the shrubs. So I scooped up all the trimmings off the hostas, carnations and the coneflowers. I pulled up the english ivy that was climbing up my weeping Alaskan cedar. The Enlish ivy was planted by the contractors years ago and it’s quite agressive if not pruned or pulled out in some places every month. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the heat to wipe me out.


I read diyMFA for a while, had breakfast and then curled up with Megan Abbotts’ The Fever. Come to find out it’s loosely based on the incident at a high school in Le Roy, New York. I vaguely remember seeing the story on the Today show. In Abbott’s version, things begin happening to a group of girls shortly after they had the HPV vaccination.. This was one of the red herrings in the story. Another red herring was Eli and Deenie’s parents divorce. Neither of these events contributed to what happened to the girls. I’m not going to give spoilers because this is a very interesting story that I think you’ll enjoy.


Dinner tonight was oven roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts roasted with balsamic vinegar and mustard glazed pork chops. Shoulder pain but no bad dash to the bathroom. We had toffee nut brownies for dessert.

And since we’re discussing culinary, here’s a couple more from the culinary pharmacy.

Bell peppers are anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-oxidant. Peppers are loaded with vitamins a, c, k,folic acid, and b6. and are a helpful in preventing for colon, cervical, bladder, prostrate, and pancreatic cancer. 

Black pepper is a digestion aid, and antibacterial. Black pepper stimulates our taste buds which in turn signals the stomach to get in gear producing hydrochloric acid which is necessary for digestion.

Blueberries are anti-flammatory. The ellagic acid in blueberries interferes with metabolic pathways that feed cancer.

My song choice today is Come Undone by Duran Duran. This song was on the pop charts the year my oldest son graduated high school. It was the year my family began crumbling. It seemed like more things were coming undone then not. My other son and my daughter would be soon after. I needed to get my game plan together especially knowing who I didn’t love. This song reminded me every time  it played that all the seams were frayed.

The family dynamics changed with John moving in with the girl that tore his world upside down. As a Mom, you want to stop them from making mistakes but unfortunately, they have to make the mistakes to evolve into adults. Life isn’t easy, in fact most of the time it’s so difficult one wonders why bother. But we do… one step after another…sometimes screaming, crying, cursing but we get there.

It took me  years to get to a place where I simply embrace who I am.

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
― Lao Tzu

Regrettably, I feel like my life is coming undone again.



“Who do you need, who do you love
When you come undone
Words, playing me deja vu
Like a radio tune I swear I’ve heard before
Chill, is it something real
Or the magic I’m feeding off your fingers
(Can’t ever keep from falling apart
At the seams”~ Duran Duran

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

Inside a isolated city
lies shelters of frantic follicies
risky not reputable 
segregrated from
harmonious denizen
storms recorded
lawlessly paced
nothing  matters©




letter-c day 41

I wasn’t going to let letter-c creep into my mind today. It’s been 365 days since Johhny was stolen from us all.  Just so we understand each other, cancer you’re nothing more than inconvenience in the grand scheme. It’s not like I’ll let cancer have the power to end my life. My goal is to be a centaurion. I will not settle for anything less. I’ve beeen molested, beaten by parents, beaten by my first husband, verbally abused, and heartbroken with the loss of my grandchildren,   Cancer, nothing you can do to me will ever hurt as much as losing my grandbabies.

Samantha (2005) , Logan, (2008) and Johnny (2019) No one should ever have to bury their babies. No mom should ever see her babies make funeral arrangements for their babies.

My song today is the song played at Johnny’s funeral. He realy liked this song.



It hurts too much.


I hope you find everything you need Johnny where you are.





letter-c day 40




Bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, scallions and freshly minced ginger and garlic sauteed a couple of minutes in sesame oil before adding a tablespoon of talini and 1 tablespoon of water. The recipe did call for 2 tablespoons of water but with as wet as the bok choy was I chose not to add more liquids. That ended up being a wise decision because there was still alot in the pan when it was done. You can’t cook it down because you overcook the veggies and defeat the purpose. My husband isn’t a fan of bok choy but said this was really good. I agree very tasty and a healthy addition to my cancer fighting menu.

Since we’re on the culinary aspect of this blog, I’ll continue with three more food tools to add to your repertoire.

Bay leaves are a digestive aid. But did you know they help with abdominal cramps and gas because they soothe the digestive tract.

Beans and lentils are anti-inflammatory. They’re great for lowering your risk of breast and colon cancer. The high fiber content helps control blood sugar and flushes toxins from our bodies. That’s a win in my opinion.

Beets are also anti-inflammatory. The spectacular red color comes from the phytochemical betacyanin which along with beets fiber helps fight colon cancer and is a great toxin cleanser.

Our cells do need help getting rid of toxins and beets, beans and bay leaves are all very helpful in that regard.

Reading and Writing:

I started Steering the Craft by Ursula Le Guin this morning in addition to reading diyMFA. I need my stimuli to come from multiple directions.

I added a vignette based on a writing exercise in Le Guin’sbook. I wrote a couple of paragraphs with the photo about it not being to soon to hang Halloween. ( It’s Vic and my wedding anniversary, too!) I wrote a poem looking at Paul’s spectacular photograph of a white rose. I’m not disappointed with my attempts, looking forward to continuing working on the vignettes tonight with our writing accountability group. Today was definitely filled with visual inspirations on wordpress.


Dad shared a picture of your little brother at work with him. Jacob doesn’t have your desire to learn like you did at that age.

Tomorrow, it will be a year since you left us. If only we could turn back time and that day didn’t happen. You’re loved and missed so very much, Johnny. It’s going to be so hard for everyone tomorrow when all the pictures on Facebook of you come up as memories. I’m dreading the onslaught as I’m sure your parents are.

Robert Louis Stevenson said it best, “Life is not a matter of holding good cards but of playing a poor hand well.” We’ll do our best to play that poor hand we were given with your death.  Which brings me to my song for today. Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind. What a tale our thoughts could tell. I’ll never be the same. We’ll never be the same. We never want to read this book of life again because it’s just to hard to take. We can’t read between the lines, we tried so many times but nothing brought you back to us. None of us get it. Why are you dead? You were only 13.




“If you could read my mind love
What a tale my thoughts could tell
Just like an old time movie
About a ghost from a wishing well
In a castle dark or a fortress strong
With chains upon my feet
You know that ghost is me
And I will never be set free
As long as I’m a ghost you can see
If I could read your mind love
What a tale your thoughts could tell
Just like a paperback novel
The kind the drugstore sells
When you reach the part where the heartaches
Come the hero would be me
Heroes often fail
And you won’t read that book again
Because the ending’s just too hard to take. ” Gordon Lightfoot


source: Cancer Fighting Kitchen by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson







letter-c Day 39

As I posted the blog title, I wondered why I was capitalizing the l in letter still, I had already changed the c to lowercase putting it in its proper place because I refuse to give the c-word priority in my life.

“Action expresses priorities.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Once this is all said and done I’m changing my title to the Letter-P. Aren’t the words beginning with P much more practical skills set to have.

“Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane.”
― Criss Jami


My day began with black coffee followed by me writing a limerick responding to Elaine Chilton’s prompt screech. Facebook shared a picture as I was pondering of a turtle I snapped a picture of creeping away from the noise created by screeching child on the beach at Barnegat Bay.  Timing is everything, the perfect picture for the limerick. Serendipity at its best. 🙂

Two mornings in a row my first writing attempts have been poems. I’m very pleased with both of them. I’m going to share the limerick in my writing group but the cancer poem I’m not because I don’t want the dynamics of our group discussion changed.

Short Stories:

On Sunday nights, my writing group, although it sounds and feels awkward to refer to them as my. We’re all so different, we write different genres, like different music basically march to different drums except for our love of the writing craft.

Sunday nights on zoom, we discuss a different short story each week. This week was Chance by Alice Munro.  I enjoyed the way the story meandered from present to past and back, fantasy to reality with the occasional wave breaking as Jane Alison would say.  The initial indication that the story wasn’t going to be a sweep me off my feet romance was the protagonist’s name Juliet and in the second paragraph out on movie date with her friend that shares intimate details of her own relationship and she confesses a similar issue.. That detail was also reinforced with the mention of Shakespeare later on.

Once our protagonist is on the train heading unannounced to her paramour’s location she is approached by a total stranger while reading who is seeking a chum. It immediately raised the feminine cry in me, why do men always assume because you’re alone you must have company. Added to the presumption was placed an expected need of her, to be his chum. People make the assumption women will be nicer than men when interrupted. She quickly departed to another location to avoid any further engagement. Unfortunately later on she learns the man who wanted a chum committed suicide using the train they were riding on. So now she has a self-imposed guilt burden all because of her desire to be left alone. The author’s demonstrated for every action is a reaction vice versa. Was it fate or karma? If that’s not enough stress she has the awkwardness of her period when the train isn’t moving and she can’t clear the toilet water of her blood but also a recall of the man’s blood sprayed on the train. In her mind it would be no more foul or frightful than her own menstrual blood. Keeping in mind the story’s time frame was in 1965 when discussion of women’s cycles was taboo.

Juliet discussed what happened with Eric Porteous about the man’s death and he tells her initially that she may want to be careful in the future but when she calls him out on his dismissal of her guilt. He tells her that things will happen in her life that will actually make this moment minor in the grand scheme.

We later learn this is memory of her first meeting with her paramour who she decides she will go to see at his home. So we have meandered a bit before we arrive at the final destination where she discovers not only has his ill wife passed but he’s intimate with another woman or at least that’s what the woman who cleans for Eric discloses. Instead of fleeing she stays and instead of him sending her on her way they settle into an arrangement that meets their needs or does it.

This was my first time reading Alice Munro’s work. I enjoyed the story immensely and will definitely be reading more of her work because I enjoyed how she inspired me to think about a woman’s life in general. I remembered the fear I had initially getting my period and then being told women were cursed that’s why we had periods. The embarrassment of the huge pads showing at the time and having to sneak to buy tampons.  Then I recalled my first job and discovering  I was hired at the same time as a man but he was receiving higher wages than me even though we both had identical jobs and identical dates of hire. The damn system at the time wasn’t fair. Unfortunately, there are still many examples still happening. Our conversation in the group wandered off topic a bit with each of sharing similar incidences.

If you haven’t read Alice Munro, I recommend you do.

Dinner at the Crains tonight:

I’ve been sharing culinary tools for you about fighting cancer. Tonight’s dinner is from the Cancer Fighting Cookbook, with the recipe Stir-fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms. I know when I was younger I was intimidated making Asian fare because I was clueless on how to prepare it since it wasn’t a typical dish in my family. The recipe is very precise on the preparation for those still inexperienced. I’m going to serve it with poached salmon. Asian vegetables are loaded with healthy phytochemicals. This particular recipe the author, Rebecca Katz assures has two power houses of phytochemicals bok choy and the shiitake mushrooms. Bok choy and mushrooms are anti-inflammatory. Bok choy is also anti-bacterial. Both are good things.

Continuing on our helpful list is:

Barley is anti-flammatory. Lignan one of barley’s phytochemicals binds with estrogen receptors and is said to help women with estrgoen related breast cancer. The high fiber content of barley aids in our digestion and bowel function which we all need.

Basil is a digestive aid, anti-flammatory, anti-microbial. It has two flavonoids that protect human cells from radiation and free radical damage. I’ve used basil to flavor salads, prepared dishes for years but I also found it very helpful when I’ve had a sore throat or irritated mouth. I chew on the raw leaves. If you would rather not chew it simply add the basil leaves to boiling water and let it steep before straining and drinking.

Song of the Day:


Black by Pearl Jam feels appropriate for the clouds hanging over us.  I know there’s a light in the tunnel, we just haven’t found the right switch yet but I know we will because together Vic and I have the greatest gift ever, love. We may need some help but we will get there. We’ll find the path back to what’s beautiful even though right it now seems impossible.


“Life is messy. Grit and grace come at us fast, side by side. Sometimes the grit becomes overwhelming and diminishes our spirit. What’s good seems lost and gone forever. ”        ~ Sharon E. Rainey




“I take a walk outside, I’m surrounded by some kids at play
I can feel their laughter, so why do I sear
Oh and twisted thoughts that spin ’round my head
I’m spinning, oh I’m spinning, how quick the sun can drop away
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything
All the pictures have all…” Pearl Jam








Letter-c Day 38


“We can’t restructure society without restructuring the English language.”

~Ursula K. Le Guin.

I’m not sure either are possible. I haven’t read yet any solid advice on this point but I’m glad the revolution is happening. Writer’s unite.

Cribbage and Breakfast:

I remember the first time I ever played cribbage was forty three years ago. My good friend, Kenny taught me how to play. In the beginning, he went easy on me but then upped the ante by taking the points I missed when counting. It didn’t take me long to get better at counting my points. We shared many cups of coffee while playing cribbage over the years.

I enjoyed playing cribbage so much I couldn’t wait to teach Vic how to play when we began dating. I went easy on him too, although I’ve been tempted to take the points he misses from time to time.  I look forward to playing cribbage with Vic everyday while we enjoy breakfast. My favorite breakfast is coffee, fruit,  a toasted English muffin and yogurt.  The time we share together sets the pace for our day with a bit of fun. Marriages need consistency in my opinion especially in this ever changing chaos.

Crochet, pink, and Johnny:

I’m happy with my color choice of rose and magenta. The cluster crochet looks really nice in the cotton yarn.106172890_10219636319393337_9034360569543773396_n

Although in this picture against my burgundy jeans everything looks purple. I chose these shades of pink because of my grandson Johnny. His favorite color was pink. I’ve been trying to add more pink into my wardrobe to feel closer. I put pink on my healing shawl that I shared earlier,and I made a baby pink infinity scarf and a matching hat. Pink I typically avoided because as a child I was always made to wear it along with my three sisters. I hated being dressed alike and in pink. I was surprised when Johnny said he loved pink. He even got his mom to die his hair pink. His father wasn’t thrilled with his pink hair at the time. I know we would give anything to see him walk into the room wearing pink. 

It’s been a heart wrenching 363 days since you left us. In my email today, there was a reminder from Legacy to add something for the family. It was like I was stabbed. Also another reminder that Facebook will be flooded with memories of you too!


October 15, 2005- July 1, 2019


I was inspired this morning by a window image to write a poem in my melancholy mood. Its posted here. Today’s menu has lots of cancer fighting veggies. Zucchini, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Scallions, Basil, and Oregano. Yummy!

Speaking of culinary let’s continue with our cancer fighting toolkit.

Asparagus is anti-inflammatory with phytochemicals that mimic cox-2 inhibitors. As you probably already know it’s loaded with Vitamin A and K and folic acid. Each of these are strong allies in the defense of cancer.

Avocados are anti-inflammatory, too. Avocados monounsaturated fats and Vitamin E are believed to combat prostrate cancer growth. But there’s an added bonus, the glutathione which is a combination of amino acids removes cancer promoting carcinogens from healthy cells.

Bananas are great as a digestive aid in addition to balancing electrolytes. Bananas have high potassium which our bodies need. Bananas like apples are full of stomach soothing pectin and their fiber cleans the toxins that sneak into our intestinal tract and help with bowel function.

If you’re having a difficult day Lavender is great for anxiety. It can also be use as antiseptic, diuretic, reduces gas and as a sedative. I discuss it more later on. I’m going to relax with my lavender candle and music.

Song of the Day:

Speaking of music I’m going with Little Anthonys Hurts So Bad.  The lyrics were about a guy and girl relationship but some of the lines just feel perfect, they say what I’m feeling inside without you. I

Did I ever tell you about the first time I danced to this song was in 6th grade? It was an awkward experience in gym class. Our gym teacher was teaching us how to dance. 24 students except we had more girls than boys. I danced with a girl, both of us were uncomfortable being paired together and we both had two left feet. Added bonus, we didn’t like each other at all which is why I’m sure the gym teacher put us together.  I stepped on her toes more than she did mine. Gramma still has two left feet.


“I know you
Don’t know what I’m goin’ through
Standing here
Looking at you (flooding facebook memories)
Well, let me tell you that it
(Hurt) Hurts so bad (hurts so bad)
It makes me feel so sad (hurts so bad)
It makes me hurt so bad”