Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards (Book 1)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

PRE-ORDER - only $2.99


Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards
(Messages from the Dead Book 1)

Even though many of our ancestors were illiterate, they often placed symbols on their headstones with meanings that have become forgotten over time. Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Field Guide for Historic Graveyards is a photo-filled field guide people can toss in their car, then reach for when they visit a historic graveyard. 

Learning the meaning of these forgotten symbols can greatly enhance your visit to a historic cemeteries. Not only is it fun, but it creates a unique connection to history.

Perfect for history buffs, genealogy searchers and anyone with a love for obscure trivia!

Price goes to $9.99 once live!




Ciao for now!

5/26/17: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, May 26, 2017

It's Friday and time to post my Celebrate the Small Things on my blog. If you'd like to join in the fun or check out some other participating blogs, click the image to the right.

My small things for this past week:
Another great week with lots of things to celebrate. How about you? What small things can you celebrate this week?

Click to see the other blogs participating in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

Ciao for now!

Cataract Surgery & Day One Post-Op

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Left eye one is done!! First post-op check-up done and all is looking good. Right eye is scheduled for June 12th. Doing the happy dance - well, except for waiting to get glasses that will work with both new eye strengths. LOL!

I promised a little more information about the surgery. As I stated when I discussed options in my previous post, "Cataract Surgery & Me", everything is relevant to my experience and the surgeon and surgical center I used. Different doctors and different parts of the country will vary as will the condition of your eyes.

To prep for the surgery I needed to get a pre-surgery physical exam. Even though I had seen my GP the same day as my ophthalmologist, this exam was a little different than my annual Rx renewal visit. But fortunately, all my blood work was good. My eye doctor ordered three different eye drops, Besivance, Prednisolone and Prolensa. The first two were used three times a day, the last one only once. It didn't matter the order, only that we allowed five minutes between drops. We learned to use a timer, otherwise we'd get busy and an hour later realize we hadn't done the next drop. LOL! Stu instilled all my drops, much easier for me.

Like all surgeries, I couldn't eat after midnight the night before but since my surgery was in the afternoon, I was allowed up to 16 ounces of black coffee or plain water up between midnight and 9:30 am. I did indulge in several sips of coffee. The only medication I took that morning was the one for my blood pressure, as ordered by my regular doctor at my pre-surgery visit. (Be sure to ask YOUR doctor what to take.)

The surgical center was easy to find and the staff was great. I had done my morning eye drops but after check-in, there were a LOT more. They want your eye very dilated. Also expect anywhere from 3-5 people to ask you which eye and for me, two of them used a marker on my forehead above that eye.

I had been told to bring my medication list (Rx & OTC), including the eye drops, a picture ID, my insurance card and $10 for my sunglass kit. Also, if I had an advanced directive, I do (Five Wishes), bring a copy. The sunglass kit was a pair of fitovers - since I have at least three pair (a must when riding my motorcycle), I didn't have to buy them. Hey, every penny helps!

I was soon taken back where I laid on a gurney and the nurse put a nice warm (heated) blanket over me. I didn't have to undress and I had followed their advice and worn a zip-front (I don't own any button front) shirt for the EKG leads. Questions, IV put in, more eye drops, new person, question, still more eye drops, new person, questions, doctor, questions, nurse anesthetist, questions. Then I was wheeled back.

What do I remember? I remember the anesthetist asking how I was, I answered "Awake". She said she'd increase the sedation. I remember a drape being stuck to my face (and them telling me this), and then a opening being opened for my eye. A bright light and I commented on it. Laughter, and being told it's going to get a lot brighter.

The next part I have to admit that I'm not positive what is real and what might have been a sedation dream. I remember seeing red, feeling some discomfort but not wanting to speak while the surgery was going on. Not painful really, just uncomfortable. The next thing I remember is the drape being pulled off my face - ouch! LOL!

The nurse asked me to sit up and brought me my requested drink and snack (one of the early questions was what I wanted - choice of coffee, hot tea, iced tea, juice, soda, water and then saltines or graham crackers). I drank my water and demolished my saltine crackers.

I got my post-op instructions (continue my eye drops) and wear my cute little see-through eye patch the rest of the day and then during naps/nighttime for two weeks. No bending my head down and no lifting anything over 15 pounds for two weeks. Ahhh, rest!

I had some slight dryness and a scratchy feeling in the eye, but no other discomfort. When we got home and instilled the eye drops, that went away. I took an hour long nap and the eye was a bit stuck when I tried to open it but no further problems. Blurry vision and strong halos around lights but no discomfort.

My vision continued to be quite blurry until noon the next day when it started to clear. It continued to improve and we finally popped out the left lens in my glasses so the eyes could focus together better.


I am now two days out from surgery and the left eye is great, well, except for reading. Because my glasses corrected my close vision as well as distance, this is where I have to close my right eye to read small print. It will be much worse after the right eye is done since the lens will only correct distance.

All in all, I'm very happy and looking forward to June 12th. We still hope to head to TN in early July.

Ciao for now!

5/19/17: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, May 19, 2017

It's Friday and time to post my Celebrate the Small Things on my blog. If you'd like to join in the fun or check out some other participating blogs, click the image to the right.

My small things for this past week:
  • We survived Stu's oldest daughter's outdoor wedding, rainy, temps in the mid-50's and WINDY. It was a great day!



  • We survived five days of babysitting three grandkids (well, today is the fifth day) without major incidents. It was a blast!
     
  • Stu survived being a chaperone to a group of 3rd graders, granddaughter Jesse's class, on a field trip to see the Shore Birds (baseball team) play.


     
  • I offered my book Home Again free for Mother's Day and it made the top ten for Young Adult Contemporary Romances during the week.
So all in all, a great week. Next week is my first cataract surgery. Eeek! I'm excited yet terrified. I know it will be fine, but it's MY EYES! LOL!

Click to see the other blogs participating in the Celebrate the Small Things blog hop.

Ciao for now!

Bucket List thru the years

Thursday, May 18, 2017

A blogger I follow did a top ten review of her bucket list, comparing it from her younger years to today. today. I thought it would be interesting to see how mine would compare.

When I was in my 20's-40's, my bucket list was more career oriented. In my 20's, I wanted a career. In my 30's, I was getting prepared. In my 40's, I succeeded.  My bucket list was a little travel and dream oriented but also a somewhat generic.
  • Love & be loved
  • Raise good kids
  • Succeed in my career
  • Travel to a foreign country (other than Canada) but especially Australia
  • Visit a rain forest
  • Go to a grocery store and buy whatever I wanted/needed without thinking about cost
  • Stay in a luxury hotel, just once
  • Retire as a full-time RVers
  • Live in a log cabin after retirement
I have done all on that list but I've also ended up doing a lot of interesting things that were never on my bucket list, not even in my dreams!

I still have a few things on my list:

  • Hot air balloon ride
  • Visit Scotland (Australia is on the list but financially I know it's not going to happen)
  • See a play on Broadway
  • Visit Yosemite National Park

But all in all, my life has been pretty darn spectacular and my wishes are now fairly small. I hope to continue finding treasures and trinkets of surprise events in my remaining years.

How does your younger bucket list match with yours today? Still got things you want to do?

Ciao for now!

Cataract Surgery & Me

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I've known that I had cataracts since my mid-40's. At that time, my right eye had a small one and I was horrified. I was too young, cataracts are for old people. Right? Um, nope. LOL!

The years went by along with the annual eye exams and new prescriptions. My right eye has always been my worst, qualifying as legally blind without correction. The left eye needed correction but much less than the right. Both eye have astigmatism, the left eye joining in the fun in later years.

I did wear contacts for almost ten years, until my eyes got too dry. While it was nice to actually see my hair being cut and to be able to buy regular sunglasses off the rack. So most of my life since junior high has been spent sporting glasses. And due to hereditary dark circles under my eyes, I actually prefer how I look in glasses.

Fast forward to last year and the eye exam with new glasses. For some reason, my left eye just wasn't seeing clearly, even with the new prescription (which was checked and double-checked). Our ophthalmologist decided it was time for me to see the eye surgeon/specialist about cataract surgery. Stu had been seeing him for two years due to a question about possible glaucoma. He has cataracts, too, but last year was told they weren't severe enough to qualify for Medicare coverage.

So, off I went....and out I came, now knowing both eyes were ready for surgery. I qualified under the doctor's limits, under Medicare's limits and under my limits (I can't see/read anything clearly and haven't for a while now).

He could have scheduled me almost immediately but we were leaving in a week to head to Florida for the winter and for a cruise (our big cruise to Hawaii). So plans were made to get it scheduled this year.

And now the time is here. The left eye is scheduled for surgery on Monday, the right eye will be scheduled during one of my after-care visits. I see the the surgeon twice next week as well as getting an echocardiogram done (checking out a long history of unusual EKGs - no worries, no heart attack - LOL). This Friday I start using three different eye drops, one drop in the left eye, each drop five minutes apart. That's pretty much all I have to do to get ready for Monday.

Almost forgot the two positives - this is a VERY quick surgery and they use a sedative in an IV. Perfect for someone who is TERRIFIED of any surgery connected to her eyes.

Just for general information (and prices will vary with different doctors in different parts of the country), I was a bit staggered at what the surgery COULD cost me if I went with all the options. First, this surgeon has perfected a laser surgery that is a step above the generally accepted surgery. Unfortunately, it would be $1600 out of pocket - for each eye. Pass.

Next was choosing the lenses. I'm getting a monofocal lense. If I had opted for a multifocal, that would be another $2600 per eye. Since I have astigmatism, I could get Limbal Relaxing Incisions done - for $3200 per eye. Um, pass again.

So if I went for all three, it would end up costing between $14,000-$15,000 total for both eyes. Eeep! The doctor was very understanding when I had to pass on all three. The basic surgery with the simple lenses and I will continue to wear glasses (which will correct the astigmatism for distance vision as well as provide the necessary correction for reading).

After the left eye is done, we will pop out the left lens in my current glasses since that eye will have good distance vision. I will continue that way until the right eye is done in June. I will struggle through with no glasses for a couple of weeks, then off to get new ones that will, hopefully, last me longer than a year.

Ciao for now!

FREE on Amazon - Small Town Romance, "Home Again"

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Home Again, FREE romance book
from 5/14/17-5/18/17


Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I'm happy to announce my small town, clean & wholesome romance book, Home Again, will be free starting tomorrow, May 14th, through May 18th. If you haven't read it, I hope you will grab a copy. Please be sure to share with all your friends, too!


Tomorrow, be sure to join in the fun at my new blog, Shopping, Just for Fun, and enter for chances to win one of three Amazon gift cards. Pass the link along to all your family and friends, as well.

Ciao for now!

5/12/17: Celebrate the Small Things

Friday, May 12, 2017

Some of you may remember my participating in the Celebrate the Small Things on my author blog a few years back. I've decided to join in again but with this blog. Because we are snowbirds, in general, and sitting in Maryland for 2+ months for my surgery, we will have less to post about. Joining in the blog hop means you will see at least one post a week.

So every Friday I will post about a few things that happened during the week. Mostly good things, but it might even be "surviving" a not-so-good thing. LOL!

My small things for this past week:
  • I'm so thankful for a "handy hubby". When our dryer quit, out of warranty of course, he opened it up and diagnosed the issue. He ordered the part and it arrived Tuesday. He installed it and it's now working.



    Then he did the annual chore of sanitizing our fresh water tank which included checking the anode rod in our water heater and replacing the filter under the kitchen sink. Normally things go smoothly, this time a lot of water was spilled under the sink entailing removal of everything in the bottom of two cabinets. But it's now replaced and working well and we have water in our tank that is safe to drink.



  • I GOT A HAIRCUT! I was way overdue and with our daughter's wedding this weekend, much needed. I opted for convenience and tried Sport Clips. They aren't just for guys...us gals with short hair can use them and 1) save money and 2) get some extras like a tea tree oil shampoo and massage AFTER the cut, which is perfect as it gets rid of all those pesky little hairs.



  • The hydrangea bush in the front yard where we are parked is blooming. Gorgeous!

To see the other blogs participating, click HERE. And I will see you next Friday!

Ciao for now!

Shopping Fun - Mother's Day Giveaway

To help promote my new blog and hopefully gain new followers, I'm hosting a giveaway starting Sunday - in honor of all the mother's out there (and anyone acting as a mother). I hope you will join in the fun! You can enter by 1) following the blog as well via Pinterest and Twitter. Be sure to tell your friends!


Ciao for now!

This blog and comments.....

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Well, the vote is in and I think everyone who participated. I will be moving away from Disqus commenting and back to the standard Blogger commenting. What does this mean to you? Hopefully things have improved since I made the change in 2015 and you will be able to comment without issues. Also, hopefully you will start commenting again.

I had noticed in the last year that comments were rare. After participating in the A-Z challenge, I realized (based upon input I received) that Disqus might be the problem.

Sooooooo - effective today, I am making the change. The biggest downside is all the comments from the last 18 months or so will be lost. All my A-Z comments are the biggest loss, but there is no way I can change that. Blogger stopped synching to Disqus some time ago.

Thank you for understanding!

Ciao for now!

It's May!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

We have been here for a week but it seems much longer. We've had our initial visits with our GP. I have now added Vitamin D tablets to my daily pill intake and Stu was changed from Metformin, which tremendously upset his stomach, to Invokana (at least for a 30 day trial).

I also had my first visit with the ophthalmologist who is doing my cataract surgery. My left eye, the worse, is getting done the afternoon of May 22nd. I could have gone in a week earlier but we are babysitting our grandgirls next week after Stu's oldest daughter's wedding this weekend. With two follow-up visits in the first week, it wasn't going to happen. So the 22nd it is. The right eye will be done some time in June, date TBD.

We had to do some grocery shopping almost immediately and I snapped these two photos. What a gorgeous display of orchids - in the grocery store!



Today I had to revisit our GP for my pre-surgery physical. We set the alarm and got up at 7am for my 9am appointment. Imagine my surprise when I signed in and she told me it was at 1:15. I checked my calendar and sure enough, she was right. Oops! We made a quick McDonalds stop so I could eat, headed to Sam's Club for a few necessities and then off the the theater to see Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2. Loved it!!

We saw a Baskin Robbins on the way home and treated ourselves...yummy! I had the Jamoca Almond Fudge (bottom) and Stu had the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (top).


Our final stop was for diesel fuel on the way home. We recently received our replacement Garmin (the new one was still under warranty when it went wonky on us) and Stu was double-checking to see if there was a way to track fuel mileage like there was on our original (old) one. Nope. But I told him all I did was say "Hey Siri, divide blah blah blah by blah blah blah, and she did." When I glanced down at my phone, this is what I saw....ROFLOL!!!


I hope to get a little writing done this week and maybe during the day next week while we are in Delaware with the grandkids. Rehearsal dinner is Friday night, wedding is Saturday, they leave on their honeymoon very early Monday morning.

Will blog when I can...we have to hotspot off our phones while in Delaware - good thing we will have a lot of rollover minutes this month (ends next Monday).

Ciao for now!

Photos & More

Monday, May 8, 2017

I took a little time and moved photos from my iPhone and iPad to my MacBook. Thought I should share a couple. If we are friends on Facebook, you may have seen them already. LOL!

Before we left Tennessee, we got a message from some good RVing/motorcycle friends (who we met at Sturgis a few years back) that they were in the area, did we have time to get together. We sure did! We made plans for Cracker Barrel and enjoyed a nice lunch with great conversation while catching up.


While there, as always, I browsed the store. Looks like PINEAPPLES are the latest in decor. Who knew?



A later trip to Lowe's and guess what we found in the light section! Yup...


Oh, the tattoo? Our Scottish singer friend, Kevin Philip, who we met on our Royal Caribbean cruise, had a great joke about thistles and pineapples - had to snap this photo for him.

In our last few days at the house, we tried to eat up as much food as possible. Usually we end up tossing over-ripe bananas. Not this time! A working oven, all the necessary ingredients and VOILA! Banana nut bread. Yes, it was as delicious as it looks.



Final photo shows my shelf sitter frogs sitting on my as yet unused canisters. Don't you just love them? I do. Oh my cute little frog trivet set has been around for since the late 1990's.



Ciao for now!