January 19, 2023 – Craft therapy

Rough week? Find something that will feed your happiness. After a few rough days, I picked up a project I had started working on before Hurricane Ian. Crocheting is relaxing to me and keeps me from smacking people. Today I finished two of these sea turtles.

Find your bliss.

Thanks for reading!

January 7, 2023 – Small victories!

How to not go on a binge? Find ways to treat yourself that won’t break the calorie bank. Today we went to Krispy Kreme donuts. They all looked delicious. However, they were 280 calories for one donut. YIKES! Then I spotted the mini donuts. At 90 calories each, I was able to have two minis for less than the calorie “price” of one regular size. Small victories!

How is everyone?

So, it has been a while since my last blog post. I guess you could say things have been a little busy here in Southwest Florida. I hope you all are well.

It has been 49 days since Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida causing major damage and 114 deaths from Lee County north into Charlotte and Sarasota Counties. Because the storm was so huge, it caused problems all over the state and then headed to the Carolinas for some more havoc.

Mike and I were very lucky. Although there is damage to the house, we can live in it. There are many people in our surrounding communities that weren’t so lucky.

Just when we thought hurricane season was about over – here comes Nicole. Oy! We had a rainy, breezy day. Those on the East coast of Florida weren’t so lucky. Did you all see the pictures of the homes washed into the Atlantic Ocean. So sad.

So, now that things are back to “normal” (really – you CAN see the normal if you look over the giant piles of debris everywhere) I plan to get back to reading and reviewing good books and talking about eating healthy and being good to your body.

After 46 days of erratic eating, I’m back to eating more fruits and veggies, lean protein, and fewer carbs. I’m looking for healthier recipes for Thanksgiving- including apple pie croissants!! Now that stores here have milk, eggs, butter, and fresh veggies – we no longer have to go on our evening grub crawl to find food trucks so we can eat. Next time you see a food truck, stop and buy something. If it weren’t for them a lot of people wouldn’t have eaten anything in the days after the storm. That is how bad things were.

So, hug your loved ones and enjoy every day with a smile on your face. Remember to be kind, especially to those who are in helping jobs. (Keep in mind, if you are dealing with storm aftermath, your local grocery checkout person, receptionist, public works staff are working to help YOU when they should be home getting their own situation fixed).

Be kind. Be patient. Be respectful.

Thanks for reading.

Books, crafts, and dieting will have to wait

Hurricane Ian

Until yesterday around 10am, when Ian decided he wanted to visit Southwest Florida, we had planned to ride out the storm at home.

When Charlotte County Emergency Management called for mandatory evacuation of our zone (B-orange), we looked on Expedia again and by some miracle, we found a hotel room up near Orlando. We decided to get out of Dodge. Run from the water (storm surge) hide from the wind. Even though Orlando is under the hurricane warning as well, a Cat 1 or 2 inland is better than a direct hit/landfall of a Cat3 or 4. We live right where the big M is on the picture above.

An almost 5 hour drive (normally 2 1/2 hours) without stopping for food or drink and we arrived tired and hungry. We stashed the cat in our hotel room and headed to Publix for some fried chicken and cat food, which we forgot in the rush to leave.

We’ve slept a bit and now are resting and praying for everyone.

When I woke up a few minutes ago, I looked at the weather and my stomach dropped. It looks like the worst possible scenario. The storm moved South and East and looks like a direct hit of a Cat 4, just like Charley in 2004.

I have friend that have stayed and I’m extremely worried for them. My coworkers, whom I have grown to love like a big family, are in danger.

I’ve been humbled by the friends who have reached out to offer shelter and money. You all are my angels. After all is said and done, we may need that help.

I ask for prayers for everyone dealing with this. I want to thank meteorologist Denis Phillips and Mike from Mike’s Weather Page for your calm, straightforward info. I want to thank Charlotte County Emergency Management for their guidance. Thank you in advance to the first responders. Thank you to the regular Charlotte County employees that have volunteered or been assigned to work the storm shelters. You are truly heroes.

Stay safe and PRAY!

Creator God, we ask you to calm the wind and the waves of the approaching hurricane, and spare those in its path from harm. Help those who are in its way to reach safety. Open our hearts in generosity to all who need help in the coming days. Amen.

Be kind. Check on your neighbors. Hug your family.

Somebody’s mother

If you go online or turn on your TV, you can’t avoid the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death this past week. After a 70 year reign, it will take some getting used to someone else in her seat.

Besides the tributes I’ve seen online, I’ve also seen people making cruel comments about the royal family. I guess these people are from perfect families. While I am not pro-royal and realize that there are problems among the family, I do have sympathy for them because, after all, somebody’s mother, grandmother, great grandmother, etc. has died.

I lost my own mother in 2021 and know that, rich or poor, royal or peasant, the death of your mother is not an easy time. Whether you are the black sheep of the family or the perfect prince or princess, the loss hurts. I, for one, will keep them in my prayers.

If you have lost a loved one, know that I am saying prayers for you as well.

Thanks for reading.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

I’ve been feeling uninspired lately.

It’s been over a month since I posted anything. I’ve had ideas for reviews of both books and healthy food, I just haven’t had the motivation. I need to get back on track.

Here are some highlights from life in the past month +:

  1. Swimming – Mike and I have started going to the pool at our local recreation center on Saturday mornings. It has been wonderful for our joints. We didn’t go last week when I had the flu. This week we went to a comic book show instead. Next week we plan to go to North Port Aquatic Center to check out their pool and lazy river. Can’t wait.
  2. The Winners by Frederik Backman – I had the pleasure to read the upcoming third book in the Beartown series. I am a a big fan of Mr. Backman. His books are wonderful. A review of the book is in the works and will be posted closer to the expected publishing date of September 27, 2022.
  3. Cozy mysteries – I’m on a cozy mystery reading kick. I love to go on Amazon and find the first book in a cozy mystery series to see if I want to read the whole series.
  4. Crafts – I haven’t been crafting as much. I’ve been craft brainstorming but haven’t done much more. I’m starting to feel a little inspiration to get ready for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas crafts. Stay tuned, there may be a how-to video or two in the works.
  5. Trying to stay cool – I’ve not been successful. It is has been pretty freakin’ hot since what feels like forever. Can’t wait for “cool” weather.

So, what have you been up to this Summer?

Thanks for reading.

Sapphire Beach Mysteries – Angela K. Ryan

I love reading books set in fictional towns near where I live. Angela K. Ryan’s Sapphire Beach mysteries are just that. Cozy mysteries set in Southwest Florida. I have been to many of the towns and cities mentioned in the books, which makes them even more interesting. I just finished the last book in the series and I am sad that it is over. There is a “spin-off” – the Seaside Ice Cream Shop Mysteries – which continues the story of Anna, the cousin of the main character in the Sapphire Beach Cozy Mysteries.

The main character is Connie. Other regular characters in the series are: Grace – Aunt Concetta’s best friend and employee at Connie’s jewelry store, Stephanie – Grace’s daughter, Elyse – the local realtor, Josh – Elyse’s husband and Sapphire Beach police officer, Zach – Josh’s friend, police officer, and eventually Connie’s love interest, Gertrude – a friend of Aunt Concetta’s and great aunt to Elyse, Abby – employee at Connie’s jewelry store, Ruby – a fellow Sapphire Beach shop owner, Gallagher – the owner of the restaurant across from Connie’s store… and more.

1. Condos and Corpses – Connie must find out who killed a man in Grace’s condo

2. Surf, Sand, and Skeletons – Connie gets to the bottom of what happened to the previous owner of her shop

3. Piers, Pliers, and Problems – A student in her first jewelry class is murdered with Connie’s pliers and she must figure out who did it.

4. Candy Canes and Cadavers – During her family’s visit to Sapphire Beach, she must find out who murdered a local theater actor.

5. Snowbirds and Suspects – When her friend, Ruby’s niece is accused of murder, she asks Connie to help clear her name.

6. Bridesmaids and Bodies – When the best man of one of her jewelry clients is murdered, Connie needs to find the killer so the wedding can go on.

7. Hurricanes and Homicides – While hunkered down during a hurricane, Connie finds the body of a fellow condo owner and must find the murderer among those sheltering in place.

8. Kayaks and Killers – When a kayak floats near shore with a body in it, Connie and friends investigate.

9. Friends, Foes, and Felonies – Connie’s former boss and mentor, Sam, is visiting for two weeks. When the head of a local non-profit is murdered, Connie and Sam investigate.

10. Passion and Poison – When a former tennis pro is murdered at Connie’s friend, Gallagher’s restaurant, he turns to Connie to help solve the murder.

11. Daffodils and Death – Connie’s visit to the botanical garden with her mother and sister turns into a murder investigation.

12. Marriage and Mischief – Connie and Zack are getting ready for their wedding. As friends and family gather, the wedding officiant, Fr. Paul goes missing. Will Connie be able to solve his disappearance in time to prevent a tragedy and a ruined wedding?

Give these light and refreshing mysteries a try.

Thanks for reading.

One year

It’s been one year. On the daily, I still think “I have to call Mom and tell her…” and then suffer through the gut punch that of remembering you are gone.


I still think about how we used to talk for hours about books. It hit me hard this week because one of our shared favorite authors, Adriana Trigiani, had a new book come out. Normally, you and I would have been doing a countdown to publication day. I did stop, look up, and say “don’t forget to preorder The Good Left Undone so we can start reading it together” last week. In the past I would have devoured the book so we could talk about it. To be honest, I haven’t even started reading it. I just can’t bring myself to start yet. I promise to start reading it next week. I can’t thank you enough for instilling a love of reading in me.

The year of firsts without you is over. First holidays without you. First time I was sick (yep, Covid) without calling you for advice. First Easter without a lamb cake. First Mother’s day without you. I think you get the picture.
I know we all miss you and love you, Mom.