Thursday, December 26, 2013

Nate's Christmas

Merry Christmas to all from me, Nate the dog.

You can see what I had to wear for the holidays. Why do owners think dogs like to wear silly things? Do I look like a happy dog?  I was when I didn't have to wear those. But, I got some nice toys and great treats and lots of hugs and kisses from friends. It was a good time except for those antlers. 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wigilia (Christmas Eve dinner)

Normally I would be with my family and we would be greeting and hugging and then settling in with a drink and getting ready for dinner (Wigilia).  It was always a tradition in our family that a different family member would have it each year. It reminds me of Jewish Seder, and I'm sure these traditions mingled and each group celebrated it as Tradition.

Regardless, for all my Polish family and the rest of you who are also my family, I wish you: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia!, which  translated means, Merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

This is the scene I've always thought of when I heard the Nativity.

A friend sent me the following email and I thought I'd share the story of The Nativity  as translated to the digital age.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas holidays

I'm here in Florida and will be for Christmas. I miss the snow but not the cold that goes with it. I miss family and friends and the chaos that goes with it. In the meantime, I came across Bryan Russell's blog (see below). Take a look. 

Bryan Russell's features Cloverton singing Cohen's Hallelujah. It's inspirational. Thanks Bryan.

Monday, December 16, 2013


 After my prostate surgery a few years ago, a strange thing happened. I had to drink a lot of water to leave the hospital, but I still couldn't go. I took a plane, then a train, and finally a bus. When I got home, it felt like Old Faithful erupted. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Forgive me........

Dear Readers,

Please forgive me. It has been over a month since I have posted.

Can you tell I was raised Catholic?

Reasons I haven't posted:

1. I'm a lousy so and so.

2. I don't have any respect for anything or anyone.

3. I've forgotten how.

4. I'm taking a graduate class in sexuality.

5. I must put my class into practice. 

6. I've been working impossible hours.

7. Default: I can't do it all, people, but I still love you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Try A Little Tenderness...

Tenderness almost sounds like an antiquated term. We all know what it means but how often do we practice it? For me, tenderness means dropping my outside image and allowing myself to be vulnerable. It can be as easy as giving a hug, a kiss, a knowing smile. I do believe women find it easier to do but men can learn how. It means giving up "control", allowing yourself to be in the moment, and being sensitive. An important part of making love is speech or touch. Telling your partner how beautiful they are, how special they are to you and why you need them are a few suggestions. Men are often in a rush since they can be up and finished within 20 minutes, whereas women need longer to be aroused. Men need to take their time and to think of their partner's pleasure. I'll never forget a friend saying to me "you know what makes a good lover"? Of course I wanted to know and the answer was very simple, "Do whatever it takes to please your partner."

And here comes that awful word, "communication". Couples need to talk to each other about their needs. Married couples can go through years and never talk about their likes or dislikes. A partner can't read your mind. If you tell them, they know what to do. It's time for me to get off my soapbox. Try something different today, try a little "tenderness."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

The other day, The Tarzan Tree Company, was here to trim a palm tree.  When I came home from work I saw them finishing their job, but they left the coconuts for the people who wanted them. How nice I thought. This really typifies the thoughtfulness of Key West.  I thought I'd take one home and try it. Actually I took two from a pile of 20. Two coconuts. That was Thursday and I waited until today because I knew it might take a little work to open one.

I thought I wouldn't fool around because I heard they are difficult to crack.  I was after the coconut milk which I've had before and although it tastes like slightly bad kool aid with not enough sugar I know it is full of electrolytes.  That means it's healthy.

I pulled out my electric drill and found the largest bit I had. I then proceeded to drill into the shell. I did this four times in various places at the top.  On the fifth try, I lost the bit in the coconut. I managed to pull that out with a pair of needle-nose pliers.  I turned the nut over expecting it to drip milk into the bowl I had chosen.  Nothing.

Then I thought I probably needed a sharp knife.  Not just any knife, a Henckel's.  Those are heavy duty German knifes.  I dug, I chopped, I shredded.  Turned it over, and nothing.
Next, I pulled out a hammer and screwdriver.  I pounded the screwdriver into the coconut until it wouldn't go any further, figuring along with the drilling, cutting, and screwing, it would definitely give out milk.  Nothing.

I then went outside and did the only mature thing I could think of threw it down on the sidewalk with all the force I could muster. I picked it up.  Nothing.  So, I did it again.  NOTHING.

Now, I was angry that a coconut would not respond to all the tricks I thought would work.  I went online and looked up, "How to open a coconut."  It suggested a hammer and screwdriver and a wine corkscrew.  I tried that only to get the corkscrew stick in the skin that I had partially dug out.

I went outside and threw it on the concrete a few more times until a quarter of the outside skin began to split and I finally was able to get inside and get the milk. I had to put it in a bowl and then strain it so that the shredded pulp wouldn't get in the way.

And here is the result:

And now I know why tree trimmers leave them on the side of the road. Who would want them?

Saturday, August 24, 2013


As I stopped for schoolchildren on my way to work, I remembered what the "first" day of school felt like. It always combined fear, anticipation, and excitement. Although, I recalled on my first day of kindergarten, my mother had to call my uncle to help her because I kept running away from her grasp and refused to go to school. They chased me through and around the house but I was quick and did manage to evade them for at least half an hour. Once at school, I was fine but the fear factor was much higher than the excitement factor.

Then there was first day of high school. I had to be "cool" but when I broke out with a zit on my forehead I didn't care what I wore.

The first day of college, I was sure they gave me the wrong key to my dorm room because I couldn't  get the door  open. Of course it was the right key and I was sweating too much to get it into the keyhole.  I remember "Runaround Sue" was the popular song at the time.

First day of grad school I got the worst cold of my life and couldn't stop sneezing and coughing as I took every remedy known at the time. (I also thought I was Black then)

Now, as I prepare to take my first online grad course, I call to register only to find out after having transcripts rushed, filling out forms, and finding the right class, that it is only offered to Virginia residents and that you must take it on-campus. Yes, 95% of it is online but, "I'm so sorry. Didn't anyone tell you it was one of the few courses that required bodily presence?"

There is a first for everything and as we go through them, some are filled with conquest, while others offer disappointment. I must say that as I get older I just shrug and say,  "let's move on."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013


15,000 OF YOU HAVE looked at my blog.  Thanks to all of you for making that happen. I can't tell you how great you make me feel.  I started this blog out not knowing whether anyone would ever look at it. It began as, and still is, about me recovering from prostate cancer. The directions it took were impossible to predict. But, to all of you out there who are thinking of blogging, all I can say to all of you out there is try it. You have nothing to lose. You will find your audience or your audience will find you. It happened to me. And most important of all, have fun. For instance, after I saw the stats I got happy feet.

Let yourself go. I had the most fun when I didn't have any idea what I was going to write. I'd go in with an idea and it would change to something else. That's where I think creativity comes in. I don't think anyone can define creativity. It is letting go. Allowing yourself to have a good time. Umm, btw, I have a hard time doing that unless I let myself get lost in the moment. Since I am a "control freak" that's not an easy thing for me to say or do. Yet, that's when I have the most fun. 

And I have to tell you, that applies to all aspects of my life. Even my job. (I can't believe I'm working full time again. But, that's another post. And that will happen soon.) But for now and trying to stay on point, I am thrilled.  Thanks again readers. Please come back. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Adventures of a Cancer Stud (continued) Illusion or Delusion

The last time we met up with Oscar he had just seen the movie Superman at the Dalai's screening room along with the other monks. Oscar was easily influenced at the time and climbed one of the smaller mountains in the area and was just about to jump off because he was sure he could fly. Luckily, one of the monks had followed him and was able to stop Oscar. Monk David called for help on his IPhone and the other monks came to his aid and brought Oscar down the mountain and made him comfortable in one of their smaller shacks.  They told him he needed to rest and read and they would care for him as he recovered. Was Oscar under the illusion he could fly or was he delusional?  I think he had an illusion. Don't forget Oscar had been through a lot after he became a star. Besides, Hollywood is known for making people crazy and suicidal. Look at Marilynn. 

But the monks did not want Oscar to be idle so they assigned him to the laundry room where he helped wash and iron the robes.  It was busy work but sometimes it can be quite therapeutic.  Oscar learned that there were different sizes and stains.  and was surprised that some monks wore knee-highs. But it does it get cold at night and yet it was as shocking as learning the Scots don't wear anything under their kilts.
Oscar began to recover but there were a few nights he had nightmares where he thought the Headless Monk-man was going to get him. The Tibetan monks tried to assure him that the Headless Monk-man didn't exist. They brought him tea and watched him at night in case he decided to do something irrational again. 

In order to cheer Oscar up, they decided to throw a party, especially since Oscar's birthday was coming up and everyone knows birthdays can be depressing. They invited the neighboring monks and they all wore bright colored robes of all types. When it came to a party, the monks could get down.  You know when it came to dancing, Oscar could not sit still. After that he began to see the glass as half full again. 

As time moved on,Oscar began to feel happy about his life again but he had to watch not to get too happy because he had learned that too much happiness can be depressing.There's always someone who wants to tell you how much happier they are. Oscar knew he was getting better though because he thought those people were insecure and all that mattered was how he felt. There would always be fools in life. With that realization, the monks declared Oscar well and left him alone to do his own meditating. Oscar began to think about leaving the monks and taking a trip. It was time for an adventure. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dog Days of Summer

Here's Nathan doing the only thing possible when the heat gets to be too much. Smart dog......

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sisyphus Succeeds ....

I don't know about you but I have a tendency to procrastinate. I think I've talked about this before. I usually have great intentions but after a week or so my interest wanes and I become bored.

Last week, I completed a strenuous three month training program followed by a grueling test. I am glad to report that I received my accreditation. I'd rather not go into what it is but doing anything that requires immense concentration and focus at my age is difficult. I couldn't help but think of Sisyphus I am trying to avoid any hubris belief of my accomplishment since I believe anyone can do the same thing. 

So why am I telling you this? I think it has a place in our battle to stay healthy. There were many times I wanted to stop and just say, "forget it." But there was also part of me that saw it as a challenge and as time moved on, I felt I had an investment in myself.

I think the same applies to those of us who fight to stay alive, be it a week, a month, a year. What is the alternative?  To just give up. I know it's difficult to compare emotional pain to physical pain but I do think that either  can be exhausting.

My thought is this: What is life but one challenge after another?  Each time we complete one, we are ready to take on another. The reward is the willingness to do it. The outcome is not guaranteed but the fact that we tried is immeasurable.  

Monday, July 15, 2013

On Being Drunk......

Being drunk is a state many people have been in at some time or other. As recently as yesterday you say. Others can remember one or two times while others don't remember anything at all.

Whatever your relationship with alcohol, everyone is afraid of being pulled over by the police.
That is why I felt this is something I just had to  share

Monday, July 8, 2013

Hugs and Kisses.....

As ancient as time, hugs have been given as an expression of love and affection. They are an expression that is so simple and natural. As children we don't even think about it. We just do it. 

Here's my point. 

I don't think people are hugging enough. Afraid of expressing an emotion? I certainly hope not. 

I enjoy giving and receiving hugs.  I mean a real hug.  Not the namby-pamby hug that looks like you're afraid of catching something from the other person. I mean a hug where you put your arms around the person and hug, allowing your personal parts to touch. If you're not comfortable with that, OK. But practice it. It makes for better hugs and should not be forced.  I come from a family of huggers. We hug every time we see each other. I do believe it's European. Americans are afraid to hug. Get over it.
Go hug someone after reading this post. It's good for you and them.  It produces endorphins and will make you feel better. And stop worrying about dropping your phone. 


Hug Believer

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Okey- dokey

I have heard this expression being used more than once recently.  Although not new to me, I am amazed at its current frequency.  According to the phrase-finder, it might mean "okay". But the references in which I have heard it have been more in a sense of  a completion of a task, "Okey-dokey", now that we have finished so-and-so, we will be moving on to....." or a response to something the listener finds weird or odd. 

You may be wondering what this has to do with prostate cancer and I have to admit it is a stretch, but anyone who has or has had cancer generally feels isolated or rejected and therefore does not need to feel even more so in today's culture.

Therefore, if anyone says, "okey-dokey" you will be informed and can respond in a knowing response of "okey-dokey' therefore making them feel more "with it". Then again, you may not "give a shit"(a more popular expression) and may think this is a worthless post. You are certainly entitled to your opinion and all I can say is, "okey-dokee".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Adventures of a Cancer Stud (Oscar and Superman)

When we last left Oscar he had made his big splash in Hollywood after winning lst place on the X Factor.

At first he thought it was for his original voice and rendition of his songs, but then he realized people were only after one thing (sex) and he was tired of it. He decided to pursue a more meaningful life and sought out work with The Huffington Post but was rejected. He knew his work had never reached Arianna's desk but he didn't have the energy to pursue it He needed time to meditate and prioritize his life. Oscar decided to give the Dali Llama a call. As usual, he was on tour but Oscar left a message and soon he found himself comfortably or uncomfortably ensconced in the Dali's retreat.

After three months, he had made some discoveries.  He wasn't sorry for some of the decisions he had made. The Dali had taught him that every experience was necessary to get to the next step of his journey.

The most difficult thing at the monastery for Oscar was trying to keep quiet.  After his implant, winning the X Factor, and parties with the stars, he thought he was special and had a lot to talk about but none of the monks were interested.  Oscar had become a blabbermouth and bragged a lot, but they continued to ignore him. Finally he realized he wasn't that special. (:  At first Oscar felt rejected and he took it personally. Had he made another poor choice? But one of the monks, Henry, took him under his wing. Henry showed him the steps to purity and inner peace. He encouraged Oscar to find happiness without riches. Oscar knew this on one level but he missed having a Mercedes convertible and living in a mansion. Henry asked him to start a 10 day fast and to give up his I Phone. Oscar said he'd rather die.

Henry pointed out that they had a theatre on the premises and recommended he see Superman in The Man of Steel. Oscar found this odd but he went along with it.

Oscar walked out of the movie pumped up. Like Superman, Oscar realized he had been put on this earth for a purpose.  It was important for him to find it. Oscar was creative and tended to go to extremes. He thought he had come from another planet and felt he could fly. 

Luckily, Henry stopped him from jumping off the mountain. Henry and the other monks encouraged Oscar to come down from the mountaintop and stay in the lowlands for a while longer.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Waking Up Is Hard To Do........

I tried to publish this once and my computer acted up. I'm trying again because I think it's worth it.
Hope it works this Yes, success!!!  A group of  nurse/anesthesiologists. Enjoy it singing.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I've been thinking about this word a lot lately. Whether it's my job, fighting cancer, or working on a book , it seems to me that it keeps coming back to perseverance. Aakriti has some good advice.

That doesn't mean you will conquer, although I do think this component is essential to complete any battle, but it will give you the satisfaction that you gave it your all. There are times when the fight seems impossible and you are completely exhausted, but that doesn't mean you are done. It means you need to recoup, to refresh, to rethink and sometimes abandon the battle for a day or two. It gives you perspective to approach the problem in a different way, and occasionally a much easier way. I know I have often wasted a great deal of energy insisting on doing it my way, which at the time, I believe is the only way (of course, I am also stubborn) and yet with a little distance, a bit of discussion, or searching, I find it and it is the Ah-ha moment. I will conclude by saying give yourself a little space but don't give up. The battle is often the prize.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


 I was lying on the couch wondering when he was coming home.  It seemed like  a long time.

 I didn't know how much longer I could wait. So, I took a long stretch and slept for awhile.

 And then, he walked in, unwrapped this big package and it was a MINK blanket. WOW oh WOW
 He was so excited because he got it in Clearance for $4.97, and, of course, he started to dance.

Sunday, May 12, 2013


There are many Wonder Women in my family and I am grateful to all of them on this Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day, Cindy
But today, I want to profile a special mother, my cousin Cindy. She has two grown children, Chris and Nicole. Chris has had hodgkin's lymphoma, which he seems to have under control and her daughter, Nicole,who, recently, had a stroke, which has left her partially paralyzed. Cindy has dealt with all of this as a mother, even though she became a victim of breast cancer. She managed to conquer that once, but it has now returned and she has been receiving chemo and radiation for the last year. She has managed that but then her husband developed congestive heart failure and had been rushed to the ER many times. This past Thursday he died. He was a wonderful man and great partner for Cindy. 

I know I and all your family and friends are here for you. Please join me with prayers and kind thoughts  for a mother that has accomplished wonders.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wired to Work......

Sorry everyone for my lapse in posts, but I've been adjusting to the Keys and my new life style.  It's difficult to ride my bike to the beach and then go sailing or fishing. It takes so much energy, I have to come home and take a nap, but that will be ending soon because everyone has been saying: Get A Job, especially The Silhouttes.

But, I said, "I can't go to work, I'm a "mature adult" and we don't go back to work.  It's our time to play and enjoy the rest of our lives. But, The Silhouttes kept saying, "Sha,,,na,,,na....Get A Job".Alright, I said, 'I will' and I did, but I realized they no longer used typewriters and would not accept my beach attire.  

So, I took my vitamins, dressed in my casual clothes, and was soon at the computer learning to use "short cuts" and hoping I had not just deleted an important document.

Stay tuned as I try to fit in to the work force.  I've found a way to keep up with those young kids.