The best is yet to come

It is my Birthday Eve. And it’s not just any birthday you guys, it’s a really big one.images

Tomorrow I turn 50. What in the f’ing world is happening? Continue reading


Goodbye ugly caterpillar

Life has been busy and challenging and I have missed hitting this space. There’s just a few more days of this semester and let’s just say HALLELUJAH for that!

There is this one little thing I feel like I need to share. Sometime over the summer, I noticed a red spot on my chest that seemed weird. When it didn’t just disappear, I conceded to let a professional take a look. My dermatologist is a lovely woman – probably because she never exposes herself to the sun (it’s a prerequisite for all dermatologists, obviously). She agreed that it looked a bit suspicious, and sliced off a sample for a biopsy.

Continue reading

This one is too….???

Ahh…fairy tales. Cinderella, Snow White and Ariel and all the other princesses are not  the best role models when it comes to romance. But Goldilocks? She’s not a princess at all. She’s a simple girl looking for simple comforts. She isn’t searching for a prince or a castle. She is strolling in the woods and seeking the basics. This is a girl after my own heart.

Okay, she happens to be guilty of breaking and entering along with destruction of property, but let’s not focus on this. She is discovering what works for her. I am now claiming Goldilocks as my hero and aspire to be more like her in my dating adventures.


What would Goldilocks do (WWGD)? How does this taste? How does this feel? Is this comfortable for me? After some sampling, she knew what was just right.

With my hiatus from school, I thought I would jump back in and begin a little summer sampling myself.

Letter “I” is the next on the list (I had to go back to look – it had been so long). After some solid text conversations, we met last week for a walk on the beach. It sounds totally cliche, but it happens to be a carefree way to connect. And hello, it’s a beautiful setting.

We chatted non stop, but it was relaxed and easy. There were several points of mutual harmony – including religion, politics and other points – no small feat there. We agreed it was a successful first date, and made plans to connect over the weekend.

Saturday “I” and I went kayaking and it was comfortable and fun. Our hope was that – barring anyone tipping anyone else overboard – that we would have a bite together after. We remained upright and dry, and thus continued with lunch. Kayaking is one of my “most wanted” activities ever, and the chosen cafe is among my personal favorites. The day was scripted to be incredible.

Overall, the time spent with “I” wasn’t too cold, it wasn’t too hot, but it wasn’t just right. It was more… lukewarm. Which is fine, but with the setting and the activity, I expected it to be more. It was perhaps a little too calm and flat. Maybe we would have been better off with some tipping? head_up_anim

I’m not sure I will see him again. The script is really secondary if the characters are hitting it off.  I don’t want to waste his time or mine if there’s not a spark – the elusive “just right”.

Chemistry has been present in my (crazy) previous relationships, so I cannot trust it to be the sole guide. But I can’t quite discount it either. How long does it take to discover? Can it be developed or is it just there? I don’t really know…

So onward to letter “J”. We made plans to have lunch on Sunday – coincidentally at the same restaurant. (I know, back to back dates. What can I say, it’s a holiday weekend and I had extra time. Plus, their beet salad.) We preemptively packed beach gear in anticipation of lunch going well. It did, so we headed west for an afternoon of sun and surf. “J-man” planned well with a cooler of beverages, complete with Tervis and ice. It was a chamber of commerce day and y’all know how I feel about my toes in the sand. Another perfect script waiting for the characters to connect.

Much like “I”, my time with “J” was filled with non stop conversation but with much intensity. He has a big personality and even bigger adventurous tales. I felt like a one woman audience as he held center stage to dazzle and entertain.

While I felt energized and enjoyed his stories, I was ready to head home after a while. It was more choppy than calm. I’m not sure he’s “just right” either. Maybe it was the undoubted excitement of meeting me? Like a new puppy when you first get home from work? A second date may reveal more. We’ll see if he calls.

cropped-10393-img_2953It was not this hard for my girl Goldie. She had three options, and it was clear which was the best. My options seem endless, and they are not as easy to read as a fairy tale.

I am grateful that I am not on a time frame. I have no agenda for how this ends. I am enjoying the adventure one date at a time. Nothing is at stake. Oh, and my tan is coming along nicely.

Thanks for reading, until next time!

Number 14 is my favorite.

Today I bring you some helpful tips for a day at the beach. These are all real things I have learned in my MANY trips to Siesta or Lido or wherever I land. Some of these will help you. Some of these will help the person that camps next to you. Some of these should just be plain old common sense, but somehow are not. 

I wish I could print these and hand them out to every single person who comes to the beach. In all the many languages that would applicable, just to be perfectly clear. We’ll start at the beginning and work our way through…

What to bring…
1. Food and water. This depends entirely on how long you’ll be there, and how many are in your tribe. Figure 3 cold bottles of water for every 45 minutes, per person. If you bring a cooler, no need to overpack, just take the bare necessities. If you freeze your water bottles the night before, and you’re not bringing a ton of food, no need for ice. 

2. The beach bag. When I go, because my kids are big, I only take this. Everything fits, including food & water, or it doesn’t come with me. You’ll be glad if the bag is washable. A zip pocket inside is ideal for phone and keys.

3. A good chair and towel. I bring two towels just in case. A side note, a nice, plush, oversized beach towel is worth it. Really nice beach chairs are worth it. Get the kind that recline. And that have cup holders. And carry handles. It’s a good investment. Unless you never go to the beach in which case there’s no need to continue reading this. Or even subscribing to my blog. I’m not sure we can still be friends actually.

Sorry, I’m sensitive about this. Back to the list….

4. Plenty of sunscreen. And lip balm with sunscreen. You’ll want to lather this on children BEFORE you even leave the house. There’s no stopping them once you get there. Plan to reapply every 45 minutes unless it’s after 4pm. Don’t skimp on this unless you’re going for the lobster look-a-like contest. Or if you’re trying to get melanoma. Remember your ears and the tops of your feet.

5. A noodle or floatie, but nothing that requires blowing up. It’s just too much work. A good noodle is like $3 at Walmart. Keep it simple.

6. A book or music. A note about music…be courteous. Bring headphones. Not everyone will appreciate whatever it is you may be jamming to. Toys if you have kids, and only what THEY can help carry. No need to bring every single thing. Keep them in a plastic container that can be rinsed right along with the toys.

7. An umbrella is a good idea if you have small ones. Or if you just can’t handle the sun. Invest in a corkscrew base so you can actually get it in and keep it in the sand.

Once you arrive….

8. Park in the shade wherever possible. Crack the windows. Don’t leave your valuables out where they can be seen. In fact leave them at home if you can. And remember where you parked.

9. Choose your neighbors wisely. Pay close attention to the crowd. If you want peace and quiet, I suggest avoiding people with small children (noisy), large groups of people (noisy again), or anyone blaring a boom box (just obnoxious). If you have small ones, camp close to the water because they will kick sand on everyone along their constant path.

10. Give yourself plenty of space. Take out your bag, your towel, the noodle, the toys, and give yourself a decent circumference. If you don’t have room to do this then you are obviously too close. Move to a more open space. Try to get there earlier next time to claim your territory. The early bird gets the good spot.

11. Bottoms up! Turn your flip flops over or put them under your chair. I know, that’s not what you were thinking. Trust me on this one. The sand gets hot later, and so will your shoes.

12. ENJOY!! Put your phone on vibrate and put it away. Breathe and relax. But do pay attention to the flags on the lifeguard stands and know what they mean. Green is good!

12b. And if you have small kids, skip the whole breathe and relax thing. You have to watch your kids. Constantly. Make castles with them. Take them in the water. Have fun! They grow up and won’t even let you go to the beach with them one day. Just give them boundaries of how far to go, unless you like panicking when you can’t find them, or you’ve been training for a marathon and want to RUN the entire length of the beach looking for them!

13. Shells and other treasures. Take them home if you like, but only if it’s not alive. Those little crabs can hide, so hold the shell for a few minutes to see if anything emerges. If it’s empty, no worries. You will want to rinse them well and/or soak in bleach water if you bring them home. They can get pretty smelly.

14. DON’T FEED THE STUPID BIRDS!! Please, I beg you, do NOT ever, under any circumstance, feed the birds when you are at the beach. If you learn just this one point, my life is complete. They are like vultures. They are not cute. It’s not cute for you to feed them. They are wild animals and will in fact ATTACK you and take your sandwich right out of your hand. Hide your food, don’t leave it just sitting on a blanket. You – and your neighbors – and every other person on the beach will be annoyed if you blow this one. Me especially.

Upon Leaving….

15. Know when to go. Plan to leave BEFORE your child(ren) go into total meltdown mode. You know them. They will play until they’re exhausted. You simply can’t carry them and their stuff and your stuff. Give them a 10 minute warning, and then pack it up. Let them go rinse all the toys. Then explain there is no more rolling in the sand.  You’ll quickly undo any benefits of relaxing you just got from being there if the exit is rough.

16. Shake it out. When you shake out your towel or blanket, be courteous to your neighbors. Pay attention to the wind direction. It’s not that hard.

17. Throw away or recycle all your trash. There are usually barrels on your way back to the parking lot. Seriously, we all LOVE a clean beach. And littering is just the ultimate show of disrespect to one of the prettiest places God ever did make.

18. Rinse it off. Take advantage of the rinse stations, but please, you can take a full blown shower when you get home. Don’t bring your shampoo, I mean really. Try to be quick here, especially if there’s a crowd. It’s not your personal locker room.

19. Pulling out. Try to be quick in the parking lot as well. There have been fist fights over parking spaces. It’s hot, and it’s crowded. Throw your stuff in and go. No need to doddle when there are 27 cars all waiting for the guy who is waiting for your space. But please beware of the seat belts. These can leave marks that require skin grafts if you’re not careful. Keep a towel handy to assist with the buckling.

20. Rub it in. You probably took at least one photo while you were there. Share it with everyone you know who lives somewhere landlocked. Make it your profile pic. Use it on a Christmas Card. Be grateful for the time you got to spend there, and look forward to the next trip.

If you have any additional thoughts or tips for fellow beach-goers, let me know!!
Sorry it’s so long, hope it was helpful, thanks for reading!