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How To Repair and Rebuild a Retaining Wall

How To Repair and Rebuild a Retaining Wall


A Picnic in the Herb Garden

A Picnic in the Herb Garden

          UNDER CONSTRUCTION                                    

New Front Yard Landscaping Project

New Front Yard Landscaping Project














Gordon and Julie’s Everyday Seafood

Gordon and Julie’s Everyday Seafood

          UNDER THE SEA CONSTRUCTION Blackened Grouper Cheek Po’ Boys   ———————————————————————-                            

ONO Hawaiian

ONO Hawaiian

      (I took the photo above when we first moved to Hawaii in 1986.  This is Diamond Head side of the island.) ALOHA! May Day is Lei Day When I was a Girl Scout Leader in Hawaii we made these lei’s from the 

Sixty’s, (Sensational or Surviving?)  We’ll see, right?

Sixty’s, (Sensational or Surviving?) We’ll see, right?





Welcome to My Sixty’s

Currently Aging to Perfection

(Or Rotting and Disintegrating?  But I swear this to you, as long as there are moisturizers and Loreal Superior Performance Medium Blonde, I will always be here for you.)  🙂

When I look at myself in the mirror, I see that this is what I am supposed to look like.  My entire life has been leading up to this.  Being born, growing up, adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and now my senior years.  I have arrived!  Now it’s time to put all the pain of growing up and maturing behind me and just enjoy what time I have left.  I am hoping that this is MY time.  My time to shine!

Julie Lancaster-Whann


I turned 60 on February 13, 2021


Happy 60th. Birthday to ME!


It is very easy to look in the mirror and see all the growing pains.  The scars of growing up.  My C-Section scar from where they removed my daughter when she was born.  The scars on my knees of every bicycle/skate board accident that I ever had when I would fall down and scar my knees bloody.  Every brown spot on my body from growing up in the sun whether it be in Georgia in my youth, or Florida and Hawaii in my adulthood.

Just like in an autopsy, everything on my body tells the story of my life.  I wear every scar as a badge of honor that tells my story.

I have no desire to erase the history of my life by having some face lift, or laser treatment to remove my sun spots that represent every fun day I ever had in the sun.  As long as they aren’t skin cancer then I am o.k. with them.  They aren’t beautiful but they represent my story.  And my story isn’t always very beautiful either.

I have no earthly idea what to expect from my sixty’s?  Will they be nifty?  Sensational?  Or will I just be surviving them?  I have no idea!  But, I will find out, won’t I? 

I will do my best to make them the best years of my life.

Julie Lancaster-Whann


And we need to eat a lot more of this in our 60’s.  🙂


If you would like to follow my 50’s:

Click Here For My:  Nifty Fifties


My Nifty 50’s Skincare


Blog Posts Start Right Here


(Photography is a fun and rewarding hobby of mine.)

My Herb Garden is Therapy to Me

So, Let’s Get Started.


May 27, 2021

A Great and Easy Dinner

Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts

In the past I have featured a few foods that I eat at 60 just to give you an idea and perhaps influence you to eat something similar.  It’s important for us to try and maintain a more slender frame in our later years.  We don’t need foods to help us grow anymore.  We need foods to sustain us and give us healthy poops.  Sorry, but it’s true.  We need to eat foods that will go through us and not linger around inside of us, that is when cancer can occur.  Also, fat acts as an incubator to cancer so perhaps it’s time for us to shed a few pounds.  It also won’t hurt us to skip a meal occasionally.  We’ll be fine.

The Broccoli Stuffed Chicken Breasts that you see above are the size of my fist, which is a good portion size for meats.  Remember that.  The Chicken is from when I joined Nutri-System over a year ago.  I was only a member for a few months and still have a ton of the foods in our freezer.  Every now and then Gordon and I will dig something out from my Nutri-System collection and we will eat it.  However, you can find chicken breasts like the ones we have above in the freezer section of your grocery stores.  We always doctor ours up as in adding more spices, or herbs… here Gordon broiled them to give them that great finish.

We also always have fresh lettuce and veggies in our refrigerator so creating a nice salad can be fast and easy.  Here our salad bin extras helped to make this meal even more healthy and fun to eat.  Drizzle a nice dressing over top and you have a very tasty dinner.  Just a suggestion….  🙂



May 26, 2021

The Dentist

It was during the Pandemic, probably around this time last year that a company took over the company that Gordon works for.  Not much actually changed except some of our insurance through them.  Gordon did get a small raise from this company which was much appreciated.  🙂  Yet the insurance for our Eye and Dental did change.

I didn’t think that it would be any big deal.  We just had different insurance, that’s all.  Well, now that we are getting back out there with our medical needs we called our family dentist the other day to make our appointments for our usual cleanings, X-ray’s, etc.  We also both have chipped teeth.  Yes!  We are hillbilly’s!  Actually, mine chipped off a few months ago.  You can’t even tell given the angle of it.  I can smile big and you won’t even notice it.  But, one of my veneer front chipped off.  Gordon’s tooth chipped off the other day.  Again, it isn’t noticeable when he smiles.  BUT STILL, we do need a dentist.

I  have a very healthy mouth only because I work very hard at it.  Gordon and Veronica have very healthy mouths and they don’t even have to try.  Veronica will be 34 in July and she has NEVER had a cavity!  It’s just hereditary that they have healthy mouths.  Brodie, took after my side of the family and in order for us to have healthy teeth and gums we have to work at it.

Anyway, I had called my regular dentist that I have seen for the past few years and have spent a lot of money there btw.  I had made mine and Gordon’s appointments and told them of our new insurance.  It was 2 days later that one of the girls called me to tell me that they aren’t in our insurance “network” and that is a problem.  I didn’t understand why it would be a problem?  We just changed insurance companies, other than that things should be the same?  Yet NO, NOT really!

We contacted our NEW Dental Insurance Company to find out more and we were told that because they are not in our “network” that we would have to pay a higher copay.  Instead of our usual $25.00 we would have to pay $50.00.  Well, o.k., we can do that.  Not such a big deal.  BUT, we then found out that we would need to pay them in full, up front.  They would then submit the paperwork and we would receive a check from our insurance company reimbursing us for the services.  O.k, we can do that.  But THEN, we found out that they have the ability to charge us as much as they want to and our insurance company will only reimburse us a certain amount and no more.  So, if our dentist charges us 1,000.00 for work done and our insurance will only reimburse us $500.00 then we are out $500.00. That is NOT o.k.

So, we now have to find a new dentist that is in our “network.” 

The thing that I do know from having a surgeon as a step-father and my working in his offices in two locations, in two states, as I was growing up is that a dentist or a doctor can charge whatever they want.  They don’t have to charge an arm and a leg unless they want to.  I saw my step-father erase $350,000.00 from his books that patients owned him that never paid.  He didn’t have to do that.  He did it because he knew what it was like to grow up poor and he had a sympathy for those people and he didn’t want to send the bill collectors after them.  He always said that it is the people that don’t have the money that pay him, and the people that do have the money don’t.

My step-father may have been extremely abusive to me, but he was good to a lot of other people.  That just wasn’t the man that I knew.  I knew the monster while everyone else knew the kind person.  I will always give him credit for the good he did to other people.  I just didn’t know that person.  I do recognize that other people did though.

So, my dentist whom I have been very loyal to for years will not agree not to charge me an arm and a leg for my dental procedures in the future so therefore I am saying goodbye and am forced to find another dentist.  You know, I had very healthy teeth and rarely saw the dentist.  I mostly saw the dental hygienist whom I adored.  Having a good relationship with who does your teeth is important.

Gordon immediately got online and was looking up dentists in our network.  The first one he came to was a woman with an uneven haircut.  As am Empath I was paying particular attention as I can read people in photographs.  I saw her and instantly disliked her.  First of all, I have never gotten along with anyone with an uneven haircut.  As I told Gordon, “She is a Karen and I am not going to her.”  He then pulled up a middle aged man with a giant beer gut and told me that his office isn’t far from where we live.  I told Gordon that I didn’t like him but show me his office anyway.  The photo depicted several pick up trucks were parked outside his office.  NO!  I am not going to some MAGA Dentist!  Go to the next one on the list…..

He then showed me a photo of an African-American woman in her late 30’s or early 40’s.  Her credentials were educated.  I didn’t pick up anything negative about her in her photo.  Now show me where she is located.  Turns out in a nice progressive area.  And every car out front in the photo is a 4 door sedan.  DONE!  She is our new dentist!  We just need to call and make our appointments.

Being an Empath is a Gift, and a Curse.  In times like these it is a Gift.


P.S.  Right now I feel as if we are just surviving.


May 18, 2021

Still Working Outside

My Medical Appointments


Indulging in a Bit of Gossip

What you don’t know is that in the photo at left was taken 1 second before I suddenly fell backwards for no reason whatsoever and hit my head on the table that is behind me that you cannot see, I also skint my arm in the process, photo right.

Post Menopausal Clumsiness

It’s as if I am 12 all over again and tripping over my very long toes and bloodying up my knees.  I’m going through adolescence all over again and now my head and elbow hurt because of it.  But I’m tough and I will get through it.  I’m hoping there is some ending to this clumsiness other than death.


Medical Appointments Update

I write way down below about how I am maneuvering our healthcare system all over again except as a newbie.  Most of my medical doctors retired during the pandemic so I was left with pretty much starting over in trying to find good quality care in a system that is still broken.  So, today I finally got my wellness checkups for my Pap Smear/Pelvic Exam and my Mammogram.  My new nurse practitioner whom I met for the first time back in March at my Family Practice recommended this place.  It was a very nice elaborate clinic, brand new, and a large building.  It was a woman’s health clinic.  I liked that.  It is just for women. 

I was kind of nervous as I haven’t had these much needed appointments in 2 years.  When I was set to have all this done last year the pandemic hit and I went underground.  Now that I am emerging I am trying to get back into the swing of things where my healthcare and just life in general is concerned. 

I am not used to big and elaborate, I am used to small and intimate.  I grew up in small towns my entire life and my step-father was a country doctor that made house calls so that is what I am used to and I tend to gravitate towards the small clinics and shun the large ones.  I just feel as if I am going to get lost in them.  Metaphorically, and literally.  To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t figure out how to make the elevator work.  Really!  There were these big black buttons all along the front before you enter the elevator yet the button to make it work was this small silver button with a light in the center.  I felt so stupid.  Besides, my mind doesn’t work to initiate the simple things in life, my mind sees through all the noise to find that small hidden clue that most people miss.  I was once at a restaurant and I couldn’t figure out how to use the salt shaker grinder.  I was so embarrassed and the people that I was dining with were looking at me as if I were stupid but later on that night we were playing a memory game and I beat them all 3 times.  I then regained a bit of dignity from that one.  🙂

I will say that the OBGYN part of the building was very efficient.  Everyone was perfect.  They said the right things, they were very organized, Oh! it is now required in the state of Florida to sign a statement saying that you are aware you are there to get a Pap Smear.  I guess it’s not enough that I made an appointment FOR a Pap Smear for that to be obvious? 
This is the Ron DeSantis Administration, our governor, inserting himself in women’s healthcare.  Just where white men love to be.  I will say this about something my right-wing wacko step-brother said a few decades ago.  He was talking about women and he said that women are just the hosts that carry the men’s seeds.  So, this has been going on awhile.  It’s just coming to full fruition now.  Especially now with Roe v Wade at risk and right-wing men feeling emboldened.

While I was sitting in the exam room waiting for my doctor to come in I noticed the rubber glove boxes on a shelf on the wall and how the Small box was full, the Medium box was half empty, and the LARGE box barely had any left.  I then knew that my doctor most likely had large hands and that doesn’t bode well for a Pap and Pelvic Exam.  Just sayin.’  🙁

They had me watch a 4 minute video before my appointment on how we can’t sue them if they maim or kill us and we need to just go into mediation.  Also, our spouse and children can’t sue them either because our signature prevents that.

Just another day in the American healthcare system. 



Right after my Pap and Pelvis Exam appointment on the 3rd. floor, I entered the elevator to take me down to the 1st. floor, after learning how to maneuver the elevator successfully.  🙂

I liked the people in the mammogram department.  They were just less robotic and extremely friendly but not in a fake way.  It is a bit humiliating to be exposing yourself and have someone touching your breasts and manipulating them into various positions in that machine to have the much needed photos taken of them.  But, I have never had a bad mammogram experience other than just the discomfort of the process.  I will say this, when we were living in Hawaii and I would go to the Air Force military hospital for my Pap Smear there would be a Magnum P.I. poster on the wall above us and that is what we would look at during the proceeger.  I get the humor, but it can be construed as very inappropriate.  After all, there are teenagers that have Pap Smear’s that would be looking at that poster and that is when it is a bit inappropriate.

Bottom line:  Everything went well.  I am very happy to have these two big appointments behind me and now I am just awaiting the results.  My test results always tend to be on the healthy side but as I age you never know, do ya?

Gordon drove me to my appointments and afterwards we did a bit of shopping.  Found some great things and then grabbed a late lunch to take home and eat.  I then took a nice nap because I was very anxious about my appointments the night before and didn’t get as much sleep as I needed.  That is also something new with me.  Anxiety.  Once I was rested I put my hair up and hit the garden.


I found what I wanted to put into the last vacant pot in my herb garden, Lemon Balm.  🙂


I did finish the new plantings of our round retaining wall.


A Bit of Gossip

Because I mention Chrissy Tiegan below I do feel obligated to say something about the ‘cancel culture’ surrounding her.  I do defend her below when I talk of how the trolls drove her off Twitter.  She was a good voice for the under privileged that I hate is silenced.  And now she is even further silenced.  I really didn’t know of her past comments to people like Courtney Stodden that are quite harsh.  Telling a 16 year old girl to kill herself is quite horrible.  She should apologize and should have never said such a horrible thing.  I remember Courtney Stodden at that time and to me she was a young train wreck.  The difference between me and Ms. Tiegan is that I kept my mouth shut and she didn’t.

Also, something that Ms. Tiegan said when she was 9 years old is being used against her.  That is ridiculous!  There needs to be a line drawn where something someone said at that young age should not be used against them.

You know, to get to the top of the super model spectrum is not an easy achievement and given my modeling and pageant background I can tell you that the kind girls don’t get that far.  The mean girls do.  Chrissy Tiegan probably did say some horrible things about other girls to get as far as she has but I also recognize that she became a better person as she grew and matured.  Now karma is catching up to her and she is having a hard time because of it.  She has been given such an excellent teachable moment.  She can either use it to a good advantage, or not.  That is up to her.  But I do see good in her and I hope she comes back and continues to be a voice to the voiceless that she does recognize.




May 11, 2021

Social Media/Anti-Social Media, and Tawny “Julie” Kitaen

We all hear every now and again how social media is ruining lives.  I do believe that had I grown up in this era of social media it would have harmed me emotionally way worse than I had it, and I had it bad!  As many of my readers know I grew up moving around a lot and was the new kid in school 9 times in 12 years.  Being the new kid in school that many times meant that people never had a problem showing me their worst selves. And oddly enough that pattern has continued throughout my life.  For some reason people have never minded showing me their worst possible selves?

I have also had a love/hate relationship with the telephone my entire life as well.  Although at this writing it is only in the “hate” relationship.  The telephone was a means of communicating to my friends and boyfriends, but it was also the weapon of the mean girls when I was growing up.  Now it’s just the weapon of spam and con artists, which is why I cringe every time it rings and I rarely budge when it does.  If someone I know starts talking then I meander over to the phone and pick it up if they are in the process of leaving a message.

When our neighbor Lesia lived next door to us she would always have her cell phone and beeper strapped to her body, while carrying her house phone in her hand as she would walk her dog.  I used to ask her why she carried all her electronics with her and she said that she didn’t want to miss a call or a page.  I then told her that I don’t live my life at the beckon call of others.  They can just call and leave a message and I will get back to them when I have the time.  She then looked at me as if something was “wrong” with me.  🙂

In my youth I was one of those people that worried all the time about what people thought of me, and if they liked me, and I worried when I had disappointed them.  Those days are gone because I eventually realized that they were never worth my time to begin with and sometimes I kick myself for ever believing that they were?

The telephone was invented to help people communicate with each other and then the mean girls took it over and turned it into a weapon.  Just like everything that is invented for good is then turned into something bad.  Social Media comes to mind.  It may have been started as a good way to connect to each other but was then taken over by trolls as a way to hurt and harm people.


Most things are invented or created or developed in order to help you, but then the bad people take it over and use it against you.


My Website

I never viewed my website as an interactive tool.  I always viewed it as my way telling my story to whomever is interested.  Kind of like a diary whether it be through food, or holidays, or how-to’s, or our history, crafts, or even my personal blogs.  I never saw it as a tool to communicate with other’s.  I used to have comments on my website and I welcomed them whether they be positive or negative as long as they were constructive.  However, the majority of my comments were nothing more than spam, as in someone leaving a comment that is thousands of words long.  So, when a comment would come in that is thousands of words long, I would have to scroll alllllllllll the way down to the bottom of the comment before I could delete it.  And I did this about 7 times a day to several of these comments a day.  The comments were nothing more than gibberish as it was.  Just spam intended to clog up my website.  I put up with this for a few years and I then told my website security company to just disable my comments.  They really did object for a few weeks before they finally did it, but I kept insisting that they do it.  I have not regretted it since.

Although I would love to hear “real” comments from “real” people, that is just no longer an option thanks to the bad guys taking over my comments with their spam.

But, I can communicate to you and you can receive my communications, we just can’t communicate with each other personally.  That’s the social/anti-social aspect of my website.


The Social Media that I Use

I mainly use Twitter.  I am however signed up for Facebook and Instagram.  I just don’t really use either of them.  To me, Facebook was about connecting to our past and I don’t really care much for any of them.  And Instagram to me is more of a mean girl bully forum.  I do follow some very interesting people on Instagram and I will certainly give my share of likes and even a comment here and there but I really don’t care if they interact with me.  I am only interested in what the people that I follow post, period.

I have never posted anything on Instagram.

Instagram Notifications that I have never checked in over a year.

In the past when I did check my Instagram notifications they were always mostly negative so I decided to quit checking them.  I have never posted anything on Instagram but I do follow people that do, and I do “like” many things as well as leave a comment here and there.  I just figure their loyal followers will occasionally read what I post and not the recipient of the post.  I am o.k. with that.


I am active on Twitter and I do read my notifications that I receive.  I just tend to like that crowd better than the other social media forums.  I have come across some very nice people through Twitter and I do like connecting to them.


The Trolls

For those of you that aren’t regular readers of my website I have had a cyber-stalker for almost 3 decades.  We know who he is.  He is my husband Gordon’s former best friend.  His name is Paul Gray.  My brother Johnny one day referred to Paul as a troll that harasses me when he was talking to a group of people.  I then corrected my brother Johnny with this explanation:  “To me, a troll is someone who stands outside your house yelling and screaming at you.  You can close your drapes or blinds so that you don’t have to look at them.  You can even turn the volume up on your T.V. so that you don’t have to hear them.  But, Paul is inside our house.  That is what I put up with.  So to refer to him as a troll is downplaying just how serious my situation is.”

Everyone knows Chrissy Tiegen?  She left Twitter due to the amount of trolls that harassed her?  When I read that she left because of that the first thing that I thought was why did you leave?  Why not just NOT read your comments?  Why do you have to?  Who cares what anyone says about you?  Your true fans only care about what you post.  Just continue to post, that is all anyone cares about?

Well, she left.  And the next thing that I thought of is that she let the trolls win!  But, I then realized that is not what happened.  She left because she had a life to go to.  She is married to John Legend.  They have two great kids together.  She has a few cookbooks underneath her belt.  She is a former model.  She has a family that loves her and she is opening a restaurant.  She left because she had a life to go to.  The trolls may have run her off but she ran to a great life whereas the trolls are still there because they have no life to go to other than to try and make people as miserable as they are.

I just wish that instead of her leaving Twitter that she had found a balance between being social/anti-social in her Twitter account.  Why not hire someone to sort through the crap so that she didn’t have to?

We all need to find a way to still use social media but do it in a safer way?  What works for me may not work for you.  I suppose we are all figuring this out as we go. 

One of my Mother’s Day gifts from Veronica

When I saw this it was perfect for me!  My daughter does know me.  And at first I thought it was a dig at my anti-social behavior but then I wondered if it also has the meaning of that I would just rather be with the rest of the mermaids and not with the people?  I should ask her?  🙂

I write above about how people have never had a problem showing me their worst selves.  Perhaps had I not known those experiences then I would be more social?  I guess we’ll never know?  But, through my anti-social behavior I have come to know myself very well.  I like myself.  I’ve also learned that the average person out there is nothing special.  Average is neither smart nor dumb, and the majority out there is average.  I don’t think I’m missing out on much by being a person that only surrounds herself with people that I love and can trust and rely on.  Besides, I think the future is isolation.  But, why not create your own oasis in your environment?  Consider it your ‘all inclusive resort’ right in your own home.  At the end of the day we are responsible for our own happiness and we can either take on that responsibility, or leave it up to others.  I’m too much of a control freak to leave something as important as my happiness to someone else.  🙂


Tawny Kitaen

Tawny was born Julie Kitaen on August 5, 1961, and died on May 7, 2021.  She was an actress most known for her role in Bachelor Party with Tom Hanks.  I liked that movie and thought it was really cute.  The movie came out in 1984.  Tawny was 59 at her death just 3 months shy of her 60th. birthday.  Which actually confirms to me the importance of my holding my birthday cake in my photo at the very top of this page.  I knew turning 60 was a milestone for me that other’s may not achieve, Tawny included.

Tawny’s most famous role was in her then husband David Coverdale of the band Whitesnake, video Here I Go Again, while doing gymnastics on the hoods of two cars parked close together.  One of them was her husband’s.

Here is that video:

Whitesnake, Here I Go Again

To me this is one of the most famous music video’s of all time.  It had everything in it.  A great song, a great band, a great video format, and the beautiful Tawny Kitaen.

You can’t help but be captivated by her beauty.  That big smile with those gorgeous dimples.  Her slender figure that she had no problem maneuvering into those gymnast moves, which is what she used to be.  Her graceful movements and that magnificent head of hair.  Tawny was the total package and I don’t think that video would have been as successful if not for her contribution.  She was the icing on the cake.  She also had a very unique look to her.  In this day and age everyone seems to look alike to me.  I like those who are different.

Her marriage to David Coverdale only last about 2 years.  I remember that he once said in an interview that she just one day left and never told him why she was leaving him?  And to this day he never knew why?  I also saw him in an interview where he had won some award and was giving credit to her as one of the reasons he did win that award.

She is also in this video.  I do love this song and can listen to it over and over again.  Whitesnake did create some excellent songs and music video’s.  They were talented musicians.


I did write to Tawny on Twitter a few years ago complimenting her on the video, Here I Go Again and explaining to her that no one will ever rival it and to be proud of it.  She not only liked what I said but even wrote back some nice words. 

I was following her on Instagram but I decided to just unfollow her about a year ago as it was hard for me to continue to watch the train wreck that she had become.  (In my opinion.)  Some of the photos she would post looked as if she had a mattress in her walk in closet where she would writhe around in her underwear taking selfies of her bloated self.  I hope that her family has since removed some of those photos. 

I know that she had a troubled life.  I believe she was an unstable person.  Two divorces, arrested for battering her 2nd. husband with her shoe.  She one day got mad at someone who took the parking spot she wanted so she keyed their car, etc. etc…..

Although she may have been 59 on the outside I think that in her mind she was still that young 25 year old.  She aged on the outside but never really grew up on the inside. 

I don’t want to think about the troubled 59 year old.  I just wish she had made it to 60.  I think we are in a pretty exclusive club.  I would much rather remember her as the beautiful girl doing cartwheels on top of the cars to that Whitesnake video.

RIP Julie “Tawny” Kitaen



April 27, 2021

Grow Something, Anything

(Or at least nurture something that is growing.)

I started this herb garden a few years ago.  It was nice to have this part of our backyard sectioned off just for me and my project.  My project, to inject more fresh herbs into our diet.

Julie’s Herb Garden

This is my first herb garden.


This is my Second Herb Garden

Julie’s New Herb Garden


And this is my continuing Herb Garden

Gordon Helping With The Hard Work

Every two years we have to clean the herb garden bed out and prepare it for the new year. 

You can see how messy it is here.  It usually collects a lot of dead leaves and sticks and some mold that needs to be cleaned off.


Now It’s Time To Start Buying Up the Flowers and Herbs

(One of many carts btw.)

I always have herbs that last through the year, we do live in Florida after all.  But, some I always need to replenish because we either eat them faster than we can grown them, or they just get too old that I want fresh new growth.  Our Rosemary comes to mind.  It is a very sturdy herb but it turns into long spiny sticks and no longer looks very good.

I can always buy our favorites at places like Lowe’s but some more exotic herbs I like to order from online.

Gordon and Myself Picking out our Favorites


Excited to Get Started


You can see my now cleaned out Herb Garden ready for me to start planting.

This is Thai Cilantro that I am Replanting

It’s Always a Fun Dirty Job


How Pretty and Green

I like a mixture of Herbs and Flowering Plants

You can also see the fresh layer of Wood Chips in the Border Bed

Obviously I’m not finished yet as I do have some empty pots. 

I’m trying to decide what I want to put in them?

The reason that I keep things a bit elevated and in pots is because I live in a neighborhood where many people will use those cancer causing lawn treatments.  And although we never have, our neighbors have done so in the past and when it rains we will get the run off from their yards which means those chemicals drift into our property.  Sometimes it takes decades to get those toxins out of the soil.  Therefore, by bringing in organic soil and keeping everything elevated I am hopefully keeping our herbs safe from those pesticides and carcinogines.

I have a new goal that everyday I figure out how to incorporate fresh herbs into our foods.  Sometimes it’s not easy.  I mean herbs don’t exactly go with a peanut butter sandwich?  🙂

Can’t Wait to Fill These

New Rosemary

I love my Dirty Pots

To the right, Dill.  To the left, my String of Pearls.

Thai Basil, Thai Buddah

Purple and Green Basil with Sparky

My Wild Garlic


Do not be deterred from beginning your own Herb Garden simply because you don’t have some large plot of land to get started on.  You could have a few pots sitting in your windowsill’s.  It doesn’t have to be big or elaborate.  It can be simple and productive. 

Here we have two hanging baskets of Mint on our Lanai.

Mint to the Left, and Mint to the Right

So, get started.  The benefits of growing something that contributes positively to your health and your life also contribute to the peacefulness of your soul.  The two are connected.  You can thank me later.  🙂



April 20, 2021

Fried Rice and Veggie Egg Rolls

I just like posting the kinds of foods I do eat. 

Many nights I eat light and not heavy.


We have a new Grand-Dog!

Meet Hank 🙂

Do you know how important animals are in our lives? 

If you don’t then I feel very sorry for you.  If you do then I needn’t speak another word about it.


April 18, 2021

It’s Common Knowledge That I Hate My Hair!

I do write about it below.  It is also common knowledge that I prefer a perm to my natural straight hair.  It is mainly because of the volume that a perm gives me that my flat straight hair doesn’t.  (I am from the deep south where big hair rules the day.  Look, it’s in my DNA so just accept it.)

But, it was while Gordon was working overseas and I was relaxing on the Lazy Boy chair watching T.V. and using this thingy to massage my head…

The Head Massage Thingy

…that is when I went into the bathroom and WOWEE!!!  LOOK AT MY HAIR!  The Volume!  I knew then that I was probably the envy of every limp haired girl from the south at that very moment if they could just see my hair.  I was a HAIR GOD!  I then looked down at the head massage thingy as if it were the equivalent of Thor’s Hammer, Wonder Woman’s Bracelets, Nancy Drew’s Magnifying Glass… well, you know what I mean.  My hair looked wonderful!  Beautiful!  I could have gotten a job at Hooter’s as a waitress and beat out all those young girls with my hair alone!

It was at that moment that I knew the head massage thingy will be a part of my grooming process until I can safely get a perm once this pandemic is over with.  This tool pretty much lifts your hair from underneath.  I don’t just use it to to lift up and down.  I use it to swirl around and around.  I do close my eyes so that one of the prongs doesn’t blind me.  (Highly recommended.)

But this tool lifts your hair and gives you volume and then you can style your hair how you like. 

I will say that I have better volume when I have something of a perm still left in my hair.  But, until that time, this tool does help with what I have.

Adding Volume, Added Volume

Finished Hair

(With a Curling Iron and Hair Spray)

Oh, and the dress above is what I call a house dress.  I always wear old dresses like this when I apply my make up and fix my hair so that I don’t get all that stuff on my clothing I will be wearing out that day.  I usually get face powder and hair spray all over my clothes.

Just a tip from me. 

From one steel magnolia to another.


P.S.  I do believe that Dolly Parton would be supportive of my big hair triumphs and attempts. 

God bless her!


April 17, 2021

2nd. Shot Yesterday!

Covid Vaccine

(Raymond James Stadium)

I was getting my cell phone camera set up and I didn’t even know that I had taken this photo of me.  🙂

The look in my eyes is…  I don’t even know?  Dread?  Anticipation?  But, I find it interesting.

Driving Through the Cones

As you can see there is hardly anyone here at 5:30 p.m. on a Friday evening. 

That’s Red State Florida for you!

We got the Fizer shot both times and our only side effects have been a sore arm for about 24 hours and then it goes away.  That’s it.  Now whatever lingering things that have yet to be determined, have yet to be determined.  But, we are fully vaccinated….for now.  🙂


April 14, 2021

Health Issues Verses Health Problems

(April 17, 2021 Update:  When I write below what I live for I failed to mention that I live for my husband and children and animals as well.  I didn’t mention them because that is just a given.  Oh, course I live for them.)

I believe that when I write below about trying to get an appointment since last March 2020 I am misleading you.  I do wish to clarify.  What I meant was that all of my doctor appointments were due last March/April 2020.  But, the pandemic changed all that.  I cancelled all of my appointments and I decided to wait and see how things would go.  I knew that putting my important medical appointments off was a risk, but I also knew that attending them was a risk as well.  I don’t know that there was a right answer.  I was making decisions based on my instincts and logic.  But, as time went by I saw that cloth masks did make a difference in the spread of Covid 19.  I also learned that we can interact as long as we take precautions. 

I did start my current health activism in late February of 2021.  It is now mid April and I have yet to have my much needed appointments.  They will come in May.  It is because I needed the referrals to then see my much needed health specialists.  That is our American health care system.  But, I do have those appointments and I will show up to those appointments and then deal with whatever issues that I have to deal with.  But, for now I am fine.  As far as I know.  🙂


Health Issues Verses Health Problems

To give you an example:

A health issue is something that you have to deal with to stave off a health problem.

A few years ago I injured my back.  It caused sciatic nerve pain from my right buttock down to my calf.  It was a shooting pain that I had never experienced before.  It was horrible!  It was painful!  I hated it!

I looked online to try and read up on it.  That is when I diagnosed myself but I was shocked by the treatment.  Opiods!  What?  I am not taking those brain altering drugs!  I will live with the pain before I ever become addicted to those things!  But, I did notice that there are exercises that I can do to help me stave off that pain.  So, every morning before I get out of bed I do those exercises and I haven’t had any pain now for almost a year.

That is a health issue.  I found a way to control it and it isn’t a health problem.  Understand?

If you have the same problem as me I would like to tell you how I deal with it.  When I wake up in the morning, before I get out of bed, I like to stretch out my back and legs.  How I do that is to bring my knees up to my chest until my knees are pressing against my boobs.  It sometimes takes a while before I can do that.  I am 60 and as we age out bodies become stiffer.  Not as flexible as they once were.  So, as I lay on my back I am bringing my knees closer, and closer to my chest, stretching my back as I go.  I hold it there for a minute or so, then I release it, then I bring it back.  Once I have done that I will then place my left leg straight, and take my left arm to grab my right leg and bring it around to my left side, stretching it.  I can feel the stretch all down my right leg.  The stretching.  Then I do the same thing to the other side.  Laying my right leg straight and stretching it out.  I like that I am doing this in my bed.  It is a more age friendly stretch than doing it on the hard floor.  For all I know I may injure myself and I won’t be able to get off the floor.  Did I mention that I am 60?

I may look fairly young but I do have a 60 year old body.  And I do respect it.  🙂


I am also a borderline diabetic.  That means that I have a health issue.  The moment I am diagnosed as a diabetic, then I have a health problem.

So, right now I have health issues that I am dealing with.  I am hoping to stave off health problems by eating better, exercising, and stretching.  What I do at age 60 will determine whether I make it to age 70.  And I don’t just want to make it there, I want a nice quality of life when I get there. 

We will talk about that in another post.  But, we do need to take responsibility for our own health and not just rely on some outdated system to get us where we need to go.

Also, those people that have something to live for do tend to outlive those that don’t.

So, what is it that I live for?  I plan on outliving all the bullies.  I am determined to get to a point in my life where all the bullies are gone and I am left standing.  I am determined to know what peace is.  I can only know that when the bullies are gone.  I will outlive them.  I am determined.



April 5, 2021

FINALLY!  Had My Doctor Appointment

Julie, Easter 2021

Me, Easter, and with our backyard construction site in the background.  Yuck!

I write below about how I have been desperate for a doctor appointment from since the pandemic first started, but because of staff shortages, doctor’s quitting my clinic, many doctor and nurse retirements….  I have not been able to get an appointment.  Well, last week I finally got my appointment.  It was supposed to be with the new female doctor who would be taking over our clinic, but, she is not confirmed yet and is still a “floater” so, I saw the new Nurse Practitioner. 

The way our insurance works is we go to see our family doctor/nurse practitioner who will then give us a referral to other doctor’s to address whatever medical needs that we may have.  They are pretty much a Middle Man.  I cannot just call up and get an appointment for a mammogram.  I have to see my family doctor or nurse first, and then they issue me a referral and only then can I get an appointment for a mammogram.  I can’t even call where I receive my mammogram to make and appointment before I get my referral and just bring it with me to my appointment.  Oh, NO!  So, just think about that.  If I need a mammogram I have to time it so that I can see my family doctor and get the referral weeks before my appointment in order for me to make the appointment about 3 weeks prior to my appointment, in order to receive my mammogram on time.  As in the same time every year. Understand?  I know.  It’s complicated.

Our American healthcare system is broken, and has been for a few decades, but I had figured out a way to maneuver a broken system so that I could receive quality care from all angles.  However, because of the pandemic, and so many medical retirements and departures, not to mention that my insurance has now decided to get all cheap on me, I am unfortunately back to square ONE in trying to work this broken system.

When I met my new nurse practitioner I liked her immediately.  She was nice, and funny, and very friendly, not that I particularly care about those things.  I just want someone competent and thorough.

I told her that both Gordon and I had received the first dose of the vaccine.  It was then that she ripped her mask off, and told me that she was vaccinated so she wasn’t worried about being around me now. 

O.K., alarming!  I just met her.  She doesn’t know me at all and yet she is just going to take my word for it?  And, if she is going to just take my word for it then how many other people’s word has she just taken at face value when she meets them?  My point is, how cavalier of her to not be more cautious!  That in itself is very alarming to me of her carelessness during a pandemic.

I didn’t say anything to her about how alarmed I was with her behavior, but I was glad I was double masked in the same room with her.

She then put in my referrals for the mammogram, a pap smear, and my heart doctor.  I am just awaiting them to arrive in the snail mail now so that I can then call for my appointments.

And Oddly enough I just got a call today from our pharmacy leaving a message to pick up my prescription.  What prescription?  News to me!  Guess I’ll call them tomorrow to find out what that is about?

But, in the meantime, I am awaiting my referrals in the snail mail so that I can then call for my appointments that will probably be given me 3-4 weeks from now. 

Right now I think I am just surviving.



March 29, 2021

My Hair

(Tupperware for my Hair Color, Kitchen Baster to Color my Roots, and Hair Scissors.)

When my gray comes in I look very tired and old.  I see my mother’s tired eyes when I look at myself. 

Not something I like to see.

My Hair, Straight as a Board

(My hair holds water.  I can wash my hair at 8:00 a.m. and it is still damp at 3:00 p.m.)

When the Pandemic first hit in March of 2020 I was really surprised how helpless so many women were when it came to a lack of caring for their hair as we were all in lockdown.  All the whining and moaning because they couldn’t get to their hair stylist or beautician, or whatever they call the people that do their hair?  OMG!  My roots!  My brown hair is showing!  My gray is showing!  All I could think of is, my goodness, how helpless all these women are?

I am no hairstylist, but I have been tending to my hair now for several decades.  I can color my hair, I can cut and trim my hair, I can even add layers to my hair.  The only thing I cannot do is to PERM MY HAIR.

So, how do I know how to tend to my hair?  It’s because I have been watching everyone that has ever cut/trimmed/styled my hair for the past few decades.  Instead of reading a magazine I am paying attention.

To me the atmosphere of a beauty shop is hell!  The gossip, the insults…  I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in that chair when a client would leave a salon only to hear the insults hurled about her when she only has one foot out of the door.  I even spoke up to the ladies in the salon that I can only imagine what you say about me when I leave….

You should have seen the looks on their faces when I said that.  🙂

It’s as though their secrets have been exposed!

As an Empath a beauty shop environment is a toxic environment.  I only go when I have to.  Other than that, I don’t.

I have needed a perm since December 2019 but I no longer wanted to go to the person that I have been seeing since 2004 because I no longer trusted her.  I will not reveal her name or where she works but I have come to believe that she was putting something into my perm when she would give it to me in order to ‘fry my hair.’  I think she has been doing that for a few years now.  Whenever I would get an appointment it was always in the afternoon when it was just she and I in that beauty shop.  Also, she, as the office manager quit ordering my Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Mist, BUT, she said that she would pick it up for me at the Beauty Supply Store as a favor to me.  I paid her for the items and even a little extra for gas money for the items she purchased for me.  When I started using them my hair started coming out in clumps.  When I quit using the products and started ordering from the company itself I received quality products.  I believe that she was putting some sort of chemical in them to make my hair fall out.  I still have the bottles.  I always keep the evidence.

So, what motive does she have to ruin my hair?  Resentment. 

First of all, there is no motive for crazy.  People do what they do because it is in them to do it.  Secondly, from the time I first started seeing her as my hair stylist, her life has gotten steadily worse, while my life has gotten steadily better.  She is a devout Catholic and she knows that I am not a religious person.  And, from what I know about religious people is that when they deem someone a heathen or a pagan then they see it as their duty to destroy that person in their god’s name.

One day I witnessed a woman that pretty much saved Gerda’s (not her real name), skin when it came to her job.  She had gone out of her way to help her and fix a major computer problem that Gerda was having with her job.  After the woman left the shop Gerda was thanking god for helping her to fix the problem.  I then asked why she didn’t thank the woman that did all that work to help her?  Gerda then said that because she didn’t help her, god did.  Everything comes from god.  I then asked if all the large tips I give her come from god as well?  She said yes.  I then told her that I don’t think that god wants me to tip you so large anymore.  He just told me not to.  🙂

I was simply trying to prove a point.  Yet, is it possible to prove a point with a person like her?  I think not.  She has been indoctrinated since birth into believing what she does and there is no educating her.  All that I can do is to move on to someone else to do my hair once I feel safe as this Pandemic continues.  But, until then, I am not totally helpless with my hair.  There are zero curls left but I will just manage until the time comes when I can find someone new in my area of Florida.  Hopefully a sane person.

Not holding my breath on that one!



March 28, 2021


First dose down, one more to go!

When our Governor lowered the age from 65 to 60 on March 15th. to get the shot, that is when Gordon and I started looking around for places where I could get it.  Our medical clinic said they were trying to get it so that they can administer it to their patients.  The local grocery stores were expected to get the shots with an appointment only but the details were still being worked out.  That is when Gordon went online and we found a place at Raymond James Stadium.  You have to live in the same county, and have proof of residency so Gordon signed us both up.  They were also giving the shots to 50 and over.  Gordon is 4 years younger than me so we were thrilled that we could both get the shot together.

So, we made the appointment online and got a call the following day confirming our appointment and asking us some questions about our health.  We answered them.  We were also given instructions on what to do the day of the shot.  Just things like, ‘don’t show up any earlier than 15 minutes prior to your appointment,’ that kind of thing.

When our son Brodie’s girlfriend Mackenzie’s mother got her shot back in February, she had to wait in her car for 5 hours so we didn’t know how long we would have to wait.  Turns out we were there a total of 30 -35 minutes the entire time.  There were lots of workers and not that many cars in front of us.

I told Gordon to take a photo of me getting the shot.  Well, there is my arm getting the shot.  Which reminds me of the time back in 1986 when we were at Sea World and I got to pet a dolphin,  I was so thrilled!  He just swam up to me and had his head out of the water wanting me to touch him.  I motioned for Gordon to take a picture.  He did.  I couldn’t wait to get the film developed!  I was so excited when I got the pictures back…. and that is when I saw it.  He got my ARM petting the dolphin.  The point is, that could have been anyone’s arm.  I wanted ME and the dolphin.  Looks like things haven’t changed much.


P.S.  We both woke up with sore arms from that shot but nothing else, so far.  Finger’s crossed!  🙂


March 29, 2021

I just wanted to let you know that our arms feel so much better the second day than they did the first.  Just letting you know that both Gordon and myself are fine with no side affects.  Looking forward to our second shot.  🙂


Our Foods of Late

We are a big fan of Naan Pizza’s because they are a great way to use up a few things in your refrigerator.  The Naan is a nice base and then you just go from there with whatever toppings you may want.

For example, the pizza above is Gordon’s and he spread a Hummus down first, then added some of our Cheeses, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, etc. and just cooked it in the oven to heat things up and melt the cheese and then he has a tasty dinner.

Before and After

These little Naan’s are mine.  Cheeses, Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Peso, and a few Spices.  I like these for lunches.  Quick and easy.  Ready made, just microwave for about 25 seconds.


We’re Also Still Eating Our Chili

Cooked White Rice and Chili with Cheese and Crackers = Hawaiian Chili Cheese Rice

We love making a big pot of Chili because of the many ways we can eat it and have it taste differently each time.  For example.  Chili over Rice, Chili over Spaghetti, Chili over Corn Chips, Chili over French Fries, Chili over Slaw, oh and a Chili Dog.


Grocery Store Bought Salad w/ Chicken and a Sprinkling of Bacon

w/ Parmesan Dressing

This salad can feed me a good 2 meals with lots of leftovers that I pass on to Gordon to finish.

We are currently trying to eat a bit better while also eating up the food that is already in our refrigerator.  For example, I did add a sprinkling of our leftover bacon on top of my “healthy” salad.

I am not about to go cold turkey from eating rich, to eating light overnight.  I am trying to incorporate the foods in the fridge with our healthier eating as well.  I don’t want food to go to waste.



Roasted Garlic

If you know me at all, then you know that I LOVE Roasted Garlic!

All that I do is to turn on the oven to 400F.  I then add as many garlic cloves as I like to a small baking dish.  I then add as many pats of butter to that dish, cover with foil, and then place into the oven for about 20 minutes.  I do cook this garlic for about an hour but removing from the oven every 20 minutes to stir together until nice and done.  I love it nice and tan/brown and caramelized.


I can pretty much eat this about 3 meals a week.  However, I noticed in one of my cookbooks where they were frying garlic and I decided that I wanted to try that.

I pretty much told Gordon that this is what I want and he went to work creating it for me.  I knew that I wanted to try fried garlic, but I wanted it to have some spice and crispness to it.  Which was not mentioned in the cookbook I got the idea from.

Gordon sliced the garlic and then added some olive oil to a pan…..

He then added some Italian Pizza Spices to the oil….

Then, some dried oregano…..

Now add the chopped garlic to a medium-low heat in a saucepan to cook.

Cooking Away, You Want It To Cook, Not Burn

Simmer Away on the Stove for About 10 Minutes, While Stirring


Our Italian Appetizers

This is also a favorite meal for me:

Sun Dried Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Pesto, Marinated Artichoke Hearts, Cheese Stuffed Peppers, Bruschetta, Roasted Garlic, and now Fried Garlic, along with some Toasted sliced Sour Dough Bread with a drizzling of Olive Oil.


Gordon’s Italian Appetizer Plate

We do so love all the little tasty apps.  🙂


March 25, 2021

Socially Distance Shopping

Gordon With The Binoculars

I was shopping around for Mackenzie something special for her upcoming birthday and I wanted Gordon’s opinion.  We are socially distancing because he had surgery and you just never know…..

So, I wanted his opinion on which one to buy out of 3?

He helped me decide by using the binoculars to view each item on the computer.  🙂

Between the two of us, I think we nailed this one!  🙂


The best Naan Pizza I’ve Ever Eaten

Julie’s Naan Hummus, Green Gouda Pesto Cheese, Mozzarella, Pesto, Mushrooms, Sundried Tomatoes with a drizzle of the Olive Oil, and a sprinkling of Garlic Salt, LEFT.

Right:  My cute little Mini Me Naan that I had for lunch today.


This is Gordon’s Pizza, same as mine, except he added some Marinated Artichoke Hearts to top his.


I’ll get to all this in a minute, but…..

Brodie and Mackenzie’s Mushroom Tartlet

(Mackenzie’s parents recipe.)

Last night Brodie sent us this photo of what he and Mackenzie were eating last night.  Apparently the recipe is from Mackenzie’s parents.  Looks delicious?  Doesn’t it?

Seeing as how great minds think alike I decided to post our pizza’s.  I’ll try and find out the recipe for the Mushroom Tartlet, but in the meantime I can give you the recipe for our Naan Pizza’s.


As I have been writing about, my cholesterol is high and I need to lower it so I am becoming more aware of what I put in my mouth.  We all pretty much slacked off this past year due to the Coronavirus, and I need to return to my past behaviors that were far more healthy than I have been of late.  The Naan Pizza’s that we made above are a good example of being able to eat healthy and have that great taste to go along with it.

Our Socially Distanced Naan Pesto Pizza’s

I told Gordon that I wanted the larger Naan and the medium sized Naan so that we can make pizza’s with them.  The larger Naan is great for dinner, but the medium sized Naan is great for lunch.

I wanted to use up the cheeses that we already had, along with some pesto. 

The first thing that Gordon did was to turn the oven on 400F and place the Naan in the oven to cook for 5 minutes on the bottom side of the Naan. Now, it is ready for the toppings.

I told Gordon that I wanted a thin layer of my Red Pepper Hummus on the Naan.  I then wanted some mozzarella and some grated Pesto Gouda on top. 

Followed by a few blobs of Pesto.

Next, some sliced Mushrooms with a drizzle of the Olive Oil from the marinated Sundried Tomatoes.

As well as a few Sundried Tomatoes on my pizza.

Now, it’s time for a sprinkling of Garlic Salt and then placed into the oven for about 8 minutes until done.

Perfection at it’s best!


The End


March 24, 2021

My Fast Food Indulgence of Late

I just wanted to address the irony of my doing my best to stay away from Gordon since his surgery out of a precaution that he may have picked up Covid while he was there in order for me to be healthy, and my indulgence of Burger King and McDonald’s of late.  I know, I’m a hypocrite!  🙂  BUT, sometimes we need to feed those indulgences because although they may be harmful to my body, they do tend to soothe my soul. 

And, although this is no excuse for my indulgence, I hurt my big toe and ruined my pedicure, while we were visiting with Brodie and Mackenzie last Saturday.  I didn’t see the step up in their garage and I rammed my toe into it.  It sent me flying through the air while holding a pretty potted plant.  Luckily, me and the plant slammed into their washer and dryer that prevented my fall from being worse than it could have been.  I was wearing flip flops.  Had I been wearing shoes then I do recognize that I wouldn’t have hurt my toe.  Yet another irony for Julie Barefoot.

Julie’s Gnarly Toe

The good news is that because of this I cannot wear any tennis shoes in order to get on the treadmill.  So, why is that good news?  Because Gordon is isolating in the den where the treadmill is so instead of my resenting the fact that I can’t get in there to get on the treadmill, I can’t use it anyway because of my toe.

As far as my diet is concerned, I’ve gotten the fast food urges out of me and now it’s back to eating better food.  The pandemic has contributed to throwing me off my game and I need to return to my old ways in order to be a healthier person in my 60’s.  I promise I’ll do better.  🙂



March 23, 2021

Isolating Gordon

I write below about how Gordon had surgery yesterday and because of that we are trying to Covid distance ourselves from each other as a precaution.

The fact that Gordon was unconscious during surgery is why we are isolating away from each other for a few weeks.  He was not in control while he was in surgery and recovery so therefore I am assuming that he is infected with Covid and I am treating him as such.  For MY health and safety.


I speak below of how Gordon spends most of the day in our den working from home, watching T.V., reading books, and relaxing and recovering from his surgery.  But, when it comes to sleeping, he is sleeping on our new sofa bed in our living room.

Our New Sofa Bed

The door you see above the bed is our bedroom where I have it all to myself until after Gordon’s isolation period.  Gordon did say that our new sofa bed is very comfortable.  That’s good to know.


We were both so disappointed in our McDonald’s lunch yesterday after Gordon’s surgery because they were sold out of breakfast sausage biscuits, so Gordon ran to the drive through of McDonald’s AND Burger King for their breakfast sausage biscuits this morning.  Seeing as how he won’t be cooking breakfast all week he bought us sausage biscuits to heat up for breakfast for a few days.  Just something quick, tasty and easy for the microwave.

Burger King and McDonald’s

Burger King And McDonald’s

Burger King And McDonald’s  🙂

Eating on my Lap at my Computer

Right now we are doing what we can to keep me virus free and healthy.  In this day and age that is the meaning of trying to stay healthy.  I just wanted to note that Gordon has not been diagnosed as having Covid 19.  We are just living as if he has it in order to keep me safe and healthy.  You never know.

These are precautions that we are taking.  Perhaps you should as well.  If you are in our similar circumstances.



March 22, 2021

Gordon Had Surgery Today


It was on March 12th. exactly when I was writing the blog post below this one that the phone rang and Gordon answered it.  It was from our family practitioner’s office with news for Gordon of his labs that he had taken a few days ago.  They were calling to tell him how wonderful he is and how his cholesterol is perfect, his sugar is perfect, his triglicerides are perfect.  Blah, blah, blah…..yeah, yeah, yeah….

Funny how I always ask to have my labs sent to me in the mail and I never receive them but Gordon gets a phone call!  WooOOooo……..  He then asked them to mail him his labs to our home address.  I was also waving my arms in the air signaling to him to have them to send me mine as well.  And of course they did!  After all their boy Gordon requested it!  I can ask till the cows come home but NO, I don’t get my labs sent to me, much less a phone call telling me how wonderful that I am.

So, I got my labs in the mail about a week later.  I am only going to give you my sugar level results, 120.  But, I am going to withhold my cholesterol and triglicerides.  Hey, I have to have some secrets.  And besides, they are high!

About my sugar:  I am supposed to be under 100 in order to be “normal.”  However, there was a time when it used to be that you had to be under 150.  Then 130.  Now 100.  So, if you get an older doctor then he/she will not be as alarmed with a number of 120 like mine.  But, if you get a younger doctor then they are alarmed by it.

The only reason I am telling you what my sugar level is, is  because I have told you that I am a borderline diabetic.  My labs state that I am Pre-Diabetic.  Is there is difference?  To me, a borderline diabetic means that you can go either way, but to be determined to be Pre-Diabetic tells me that I am destined to be a diabetic.  This is why I need to speak to a doctor and not just diagnose myself through Google.

I am the kind of person that sees and fears the worst.  If I were to read the symptoms of Ebola then I’m pretty sure I could convince myself that I have it.  Which is why I need a professional to set me straight and address my fears.

I am still waiting for my family care physician appointment which comes at the end of the month.

Gordon however, was able to see a floating physician a few weeks ago at his appointment, that was able to diagnose his problem and refer him to a surgeon and schedule his surgery, which was today.  And although this blog is not supposed to be about him, I will bring him into this as this is also about my health as well.

It was about a month ago that Gordon had an ingrown hair to become festered and turned into a giant zit on his stomach.  It was huge!  He was able to get an appointment to see a doctor.  (Of course, he did.)  And the doctor recommended surgery to have it removed.  He was also told that it is probably the size of a tennis ball underneath his skin.  O.k., gross. 

So, today was the day!  Surgery Day!!!!

We both got up early.  Gordon had been fasting since last night so he was ready to get this surgery over with.  We had also made arrangements for Gordon to spend most of every day in the den after his surgery and just sleep on the pull out sofa bed at night in the living room once I go to bed so that he doesn’t infect me with whatever he may have picked up at that surgery center.  Which btw:  that surgery center is the largest in all of America.  I loved the place!  Parking was great!  Dropping off and picking up was easy.  Hey, I’m into all that.

What with Covid being still a threat and Gordon undergoing surgery where he would be rendered unconscious and not in control, I was worried that he may pick up something and then pass it on to me.  So, prior to his surgery we started making plans for Gordon to spend most of the day in the den where he can work from home, watch t.v., read, and relax on the Lazy Boy Chair.  But, when it came to sleeping, he would sleep on the pull out sofa bed in our living room.  I could then retreat to our bedroom when it came time to going to bed to watch T.V. and to just isolate myself at night away from him just out of a precaution.

We had our last meal, last night.  Blackened Grouper Cheeks Po’ Boys with our leftover Grilled Cabbage Slaw.  They were magnificent and Gordon said that they were one of the best foods he has ever eaten.  We always like to plan for a last meal, just in case. 

Our Blackened Grouper Cheeks Po’ Boys Sandwiches

They were Superb!


When it comes to surgery, anytime that they put you under, you always stand the chance that you may never wake up.  So, we like to prepare something special to eat for dinner, and to visit with our kids just in case things don’t go the way they should.  I believe in saying goodbye.  🙂

It was as we were preparing to leave the house this morning for the surgery center that we get a call from someone at the surgeon’s office telling us that Gordon may not have his surgery today because although the surgery has been approved, our insurance company has not signed the paperwork for the surgery.  The woman that called Gordon also told him that she is having a hard time getting our insurance company on the phone to officially approve it!  That’s when Gordon started dialing our insurance company to see if he could get the ball rolling.  He did get through.  That is when he put his surgeon’s office personnel that he had on his cell phone, next to our insurance agent that he had on our home phone.  He pretty much put the two phones together so that they could talk and work it all out.  They did.  After 35 minutes of stupid conversation.  Turns out that all it took was to replace an L with an M in the code to approve the surgery.  Is this not ridiculous?  Or what?

So, after a hell of a lot of stress and worry, the surgery paperwork was signed and approved so off we go to the surgery center.  I dropped Gordon off and he went inside.  I drove home.  I was not about to stay.  He’s a big boy and he can get through this on his own.  I also don’t want to expose myself to any unnecessary atmosphere.  If you know what I mean?

I came home and I made my Chili!

I wanted to make a big pot of something comforting, mainly for me.  I knew that Gordon wouldn’t be cooking for a good week so I wanted to make something that I could very easily heat up and eat.  Something that I enjoyed.  Something comforting.  Hence, CHILI!

I also knew that Gordon would enjoy it as long as he could eat something as hearty as this.

I Topped our Grilled Cabbage Slaw with our Chili.


Chili Cheese Slaw (Something New.)



Gordon’s surgery was at noon.  I got a call around 12:35 that he was out of surgery and in recovery.  I was told to pick him up within about 45 minutes.  I did.  I left my chili to continue to cook on the stove top on a very low heat.  I was able to pick him up and everything went according to plan.  He was famished and we decided to run by our favorite McDonald’s for our usual breakfast sandwiches that they are supposed to have available all day long.  Only to be told that they don’t have any more Sausage Biscuits or Egg McMuffin’s available.  Yuck!  Therefore, we had to order from the regular menu, which we normally don’t care for.

I ordered a yucky Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Fries. Gordon ordered a few burritos and a spicy chicken sandwich.  This was nothing that we wanted.  But we were stressed and a bit famished so we dove right in, and dove right in!


Gordon is home and is safe.  He is well.  But, we just need to make sure that we both are well by staying away from each other for awhile.  Just in case.  So happy his surgery went well.  So happy that he is doing good.



March 12, 2021

Surviving and Fearful of Falling Between the Cracks

It was on March 9, 2020 (last year) that I hesitantly left the house for my family practitioner’s office to get my labs done.  I, as everyone else in America and around the world, was keeping close tabs on the Corona Virus that was sweeping the world and had started to invade my own country. 

I of course, had fasted the night before and that morning so that nothing I ate or drank would taint the results of my tests.  I showed up for my appointment and purposely sat as far away from people as I could.  When my name was called I went into the room where a woman took 3 vials of blood from me and then asked me to give a urine sample.  I did.  (I don’t mean to brag but I have never had a problem giving a urine sample.  I can empty my bladder and then one minute later give you all the sample you need.)  🙂  Oversharing, as usual.


Oh, and I would like to mention how shocked that I was to see these magazines in the waiting room.

I did file a complaint at how disgusted that I was to see these magazines in our waiting room.  Am I the only one that understands the purpose of a gun is to kill someone or something?  And how they do not belong in any medical office where the purpose of my even being there is to be healthy?  Hey, why not just have pamphlet’s laying around about how to commit suicide at a suicide prevention office?  Or better yet, why not have child porn information laying around in the office of pediatrician’s? 

Moving on….


The following week was my doctor appointment with Lisa, my nurse practitioner.  I preferred meeting with her as she was very familiar with my health history and I liked and trusted her.  And besides, Dr. Patel had left and that put Dr. Horcrux (not his real name) in charge at the clinic and I despised him.  That explained all the gun magazines in the office when they put him in charge. 

I preferred to see Lisa because In my experience it’s the women that seem to care more about your health than the men.  I also believe them to be more thorough.  I also liked that it’s the women that would give me the bad news on my cholesterol but they would also give me the good news in other areas where I had improved, such as my sugar level.  But, the male’s that I would see in the past never told me what I was doing right, only what I was doing wrong.  I always felt like such a failure when I would leave their offices.  The women gave me the truth, good and bad, but they also gave me the encouragement to continue doing well in areas where I was.  They also might have given me bad news about my cholesterol but they also pointed out to me that even though it is still high it is down 30 points from last time.  This is news that I need to hear which is why I preferred seeing Lisa instead of the male doctors.  But, instead of making that appointment I ended up cancelling it because I was very afraid of the Corona Virus and it was on March 9, 2020 that I went into a self imposed lockdown.  Every appointment that I had came due in March and April of last year.  I ended up cancelling every single one of them.  My dentist, my dermatologist, my mammogram, my heart doctor, and my pap smear appointment.  All of my 6 month and 1 year appointments were due at that time and I was cancelling all of them and not knowing when I would be making them again.

That was a year ago.  And now here I am trying to get back into the swing of things only to feel as if I am falling between the cracks of a society that has changed so much since I left it.  Almost a month ago I went into my clinic to have my labs done.  I was surprised to find out that both Lisa and Dr. Horcrux had retired and a new doctor had taken over the clinic.  I didn’t care about Dr. Horcrux but I was sad to hear that Lisa was gone.  The thing is they were both young so I was surprised to hear about their retirements.  The good news is that there were no gun magazines sitting in that office.  There weren’t any magazines at all, just pamphlets on health.  I suppose magazines were removed because they just pass germs back and forth.

Everything went well with my labs (although I haven’t gotten any results back), and I had my appointment to see my new doctor a few weeks later.  I was able to get a referral to see my dermatologist earlier this week, but they weren’t going to issue me any more referrals until I saw my new doctor.  So, on Tuesday I get a phone call from my clinic telling me that they have to cancel my appointment the following day because my new doctor suddenly resigned and they needed to find a new one.  Wow.  Just wow.  They did give me an appointment for later on in the month with some kind of doctor, probably a floater, but I’ll take it!  So, my healthcare has been put on hold until I see this new doctor later on in the month and there is nothing that I can do but wait.


I did get to see my favorite dermatologist this week.  I hadn’t been in a year and a half.  That is pretty bad for me because I usually see her every 6 months.  However, I had a good check up.  She did freeze about 12 – 15 tiny spots on my body to remove them.  It was like being stung by 12 – 15 bees one after the other.  It was quite painful.  And the pain didn’t just go away immediately.  It took quite a while for it to.

Even though I had to go through all that it was a good check up.  That’s good!  Seeing as how I have lived a life in the sun.  I did tell her about how I’m a bit worried about what kind of doctor I may get because everyone seems to either quitting or retiring.  That is when she started telling me that is happening quite a bit around here in our area.  Wonder why?  Doesn’t exactly give me much faith right now.  I will wait for my new appointment with some doctor later on in the month and then I will decide then if I need to go elsewhere for my healthcare.  I just feel so helpless right now that everything is being put on hold until I find someone to provide me with care.  First we are all helpless where the Covid 19 virus is concerned and now this.

I just don’t want to fall between the cracks.  So, right now I think I am just surviving.





Kayaking in Florida with Julie and Gordon, Adventure, Food and Fun Blogging

Kayaking in Florida with Julie and Gordon, Adventure, Food and Fun Blogging

        Julie Barefoot Gifts of Julie Barefoot Cookies ——————————————————– The Gift of Bellissima to All ——————————————————— “CURRENT” LY PADDLING DOWNSTREAM CHECK BACK LATER ON Still Doing Write up’s ————————————————————— On Our Way….. Gordon and Julie Our March 2021 Still Covid Shy Kayaking 

Canoeing Hillsborough River, Thonotosassa, Florida

Canoeing Hillsborough River, Thonotosassa, Florida

              February 13, 2021 Turning 60 with a Pistachio Birthday Muffin WARNING ALLIGATORS Canoeing Through Alligator Infested Waters 60 Today! Julie and Gordon ——————————————————————– We were not disappointed.  We must have seen around 35 alligators.  We would have seen 

2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging

2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging




Welcome to 2021 Julie Barefoot Blogging

Happy New Year!

(I guess.  We’ll see won’t we?)

Julie Lancaster-Whann

Normally I like starting out a New Year, New Blog Post with new photos of myself, usually sitting at my computer desk blogging.  However, we are into January and our house is currently under dissarray due to the renovations that we had going on since October 2020.  It’s also cold outside and things are a bit dull and wintry here in Florida so there really isn’t some lovely spot I can plop myself down upon and have Gordon take photos.  We do tend to just stay home because of the pandemic as it is.  So, I harkened back to these photos that were taken in September 2020.  Not that long ago, I know.  But still.

I find it very intriguing that we are living in such an interesting time.  That is an ancient Chinese Proverb, ya know?  ‘May you live in interesting times’ sounds like such a nice blessing but it is actually a curse.  Because we are living in interesting times right now and I don’t think anyone views this in a positive way.

I have no earthly idea what 2021 holds for us.  Well, actually I do have a hint of it, but we will end up exploring it together as we go.  I want to thank all of you that have been a part of my life for almost a decade now, since I started the website in 2011.  I want you to know that I appreciate you.  You are always welcome here.  As an Empath I am closer to you than you realize.  I believe that is one reason that I am so honest and open with all of you, exposing my life, my frailties, my past, and the abuse that I have suffered from childhood on.  I mean, as an Empath I can read so many of you, that I think that is why I confide so much of myself.  I believe in evening the score.  If I can know about you, then you should know about me.

I believe in asking for help.  I believe in giving help.  We are all in this together.  Whatever “this” is.  We need to put aside the pride in ourselves, and we need to put aside the prejudice as well.  Quit looking down on those that need help, and quit resisting asking for help when you need it.

America, and the American people need to change in order to survive.  We need to quit this ‘go it alone’ attitude.  No one can make it alone.  We need friends.  We need allies.  We need supporters.  But, we also need to be worthy of that support.  We need to quit imposing our beliefs on other cultures and just allow them to believe as they wish.  And to respect their beliefs.  We don’t have all the answers and we need to realize that.  I like other cultures.  I like their foods, I like their arts, I even like their beliefs.  I don’t have to follow them, but I like knowing about them.


My wish for 2021 is that we can actually be the America that our ancestors realized. 

I’m onboard for that!  Are You?



“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes you can steer yourself any direction you choose.  You’re on your own, and you know what you know and YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.  You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know you’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go so be sure when you step, step with care and great tact and remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

Dr. Seuss

(If we are to ban Dr. Seuss for some of his writings then we will ban every writer in the history of our country.  I am no racist.  I believe in fairness and equality.  But I have learned from some controversial writer’s through the years.  I myself have written some controversial things that would get some people upset.  That doesn’t make me a bad person.  Let’s be open minded about the times that we live in now, and live up to those standards, while we also acknowledge the times of old, and recognize their failures in not knowing any better.  Sometimes it’s difficult to see 100 years into the future.)


Julie, The Photographer


Blue Heron

I wanted to post one of my daughter Veronica’s paintings.

  She is quite the artist and we are very proud of her.


If you would like to read my 2020 blog:

Julie 2020 Blogging


Our website is a living website where I update old pages and posts as well as creating new ones.  I realize that for those of you that would like to see content updated you may not know where to go? 

Well, you can go right here:

Current Website Events



People always assume that a relationship with me is theirs to do with as they please.  I always find it interesting when they find out differently.

Julie Lancaster-Whann



 June 14, 2021

My Life in the Slow Lane

and Other Musings…

It was about 10 years ago that Gordon was hit from behind while sitting at a stop light, by a woman in a Jeep going about 25 MPH.  She slammed into him!  It was when Gordon was going to Culinary School.  His classes were in the morning and he would leave the school around noon and then drive into work at the Military Base for his then 8 hour shift before making it home that night around 10:00 p.m.  It was while he was driving into work that he would call me and we would talk on his way to work.  Because his school and work took up most of each day we would find ways to talk to each other.  After all, he would leave early every morning Monday – Friday, and come home late every night.  The only time we were able to spend any time together were the weekends and holidays.

I think it was a Friday when Gordon and I were talking on the phone while he was driving into work that I suddenly heard this loud noise and I asked Gordon what that was?  He didn’t answer me.  I asked him again?  He didn’t answer me.  It was about 30 seconds later that I heard some noises on the phone and that is when I heard Gordon’s voice say to me, “Julie, someone hit me from behind.  I need to call the police.”  I asked him if he wanted me to do anything?  He said no, and that he would call me back and tell me what was going on.  Brodie was here at home with me so I told him what happened.  We waited for a phone call for about 20-30 minutes.  That was when the phone rang and it was a female cop.  She told me that he is o.k. but that an ambulance did take him to the hospital that is close by.  She also told me to come and get his car before it is towed away.  She said it is drivable.

Brodie drove me into Tampa in my car to where Gordon was hit and I could see his car parked on the side of the road and the female cop that I had talked to was still at the scene.  She was very helpful and nice and polite to me.  Brodie made sure I was o.k. and then he left to drive back home to get ready for work.  I was told where Gordon was taken so I went to the emergency room to be with him.

I opened the car door and every where in his car there was money!  All in change.  Quarters, Dimes, Nickles, Pennies… a sea of glistening glittery money.  EVERYWHERE!!!  All over the floor board, the seats, the dash, the backseat, the back floor boards…..  Gordon had a habit of dumping his change into various little nooks and crannies in his car and then never doing anything about it.  I could tell from all that money scattered everywhere that he got hit hard!

From the moment I arrived at that emergency room asking about Gordon every single person I encountered all asked me the same thing, “Does he have insurance?”  “Does he have insurance?”  “Does he have insurance?”  I cannot even count the times I was asked that by every hospital personnel that I encountered even when I was just asking for directions, including the woman mopping the floor as I made my way to where they had Gordon asked me if we had insurance.  (I’m thinking that she was probably instructed to ask that by her supervisor as part of her job.  Otherwise, why would she?)

When I saw Gordon he was laying out on a stretcher wearing a neck brace.  They had taken some x-rays and nothing was broken but he smashed his knee into the dashboard and ended up having surgery at a later date.  He was sore and worried about his neck and his back.  Right when the accident happened he had the insight to grab his ice cooler used to keep his lunch cool that he kept in his lunchbox, and placed it on his neck.  He’s very smart in that way.  He always has quick reactions and good instincts.

When Gordon was given the all clear we left the hospital but as we were walking to the exit all this money just started flying off his body.  Quarters!  Dimes!  Nickel’s!  Pennies!!!  There was money tucked in all his nooks and crannies from the crash and didn’t emerge until he stood upright.  We started laughing and I started referring to him King Midas.  🙂

We were both hungry and decided to swing by Chick Fil-A and grab some chicken sandwiches for lunch and even dinner that night.  He didn’t feel good and I wasn’t about to spend the evening cooking.  The thing is that neither one of us had any cash on us.  I hadn’t gone to the bank that week and Gordon had spent his last paper money on gas.  That is when I told him that we have all the money we need, just look around the car there must be $100.00 here easily!  Oh the look on the girl at the drive through window when we paid for 4 Chicken Sandwiches, 4 Waffle Fries, and a side of Chicken Nuggets with about $24.00 worth of change.  🙂  Priceless!!!

The reason I am telling you this story is because it must have been a few weeks ago where we were talking about this wreck and Gordon drew a parallel of what I would have done if I had been in the car that day at that exact moment.  I then pointed out to him that I wouldn’t have been hit at all, the car that was in front of you would have been hit, not me.  He then asked me how I know that?  Simple, because I wouldn’t have been in that lane.  I would have been in the slow lane.


When I was managing my mother’s rental condo out in Indian Shores I would have to drive out there many a Saturday morning when the current renters would check out and to get it ready for the next renters usually checking in later on that day.  Gordon would come out there with me, usually driving my car while I was in the passenger’s side working on some plans for the website or things that we wanted and needed to do.  And every Saturday was the same, all of a sudden Gordon would jerk us this way or that way to avoid someone slamming into us, or cutting in front of us, or side swiping us.  This became a common occurrence every single Saturday.  I started getting mad at Gordon and blaming him for all these near misses, after all, I NEVER had these kinds of problems when I would drive out to the condo by myself.

By the time we would arrive at the condo we were nervous wrecks and usually mad at each other.

I then realized what the problem was, every time that Gordon would drive us out there he would get into those fast lanes where the more aggressive personalities would drive.  I however, would drive in the slower lane because my personality isn’t that aggressive and I am more cautious.  I also allow plenty of time to get out there.  I allow for traffic.  If I get there 10 minutes later than the average person then so what?  I’m never late!  I always get there early and sometimes I get there on time.  But, I plan for things.  I enjoy the car ride.  The ocean view over the bridges to the condo.  Listening to Public Radio and my CD’s and even sometimes a Cassette Tape.  I’m that old.  🙂

BUT, I rarely ever encounter all the drama that Gordon would because I am driving in the slow lane.

One day about a few months ago we were headed somewhere and Gordon was complaining about the car in the lane beside us.  I asked what was wrong with that car?  Gordon said he is going too slow.  I then pointed out to him that the man is not going slow he is going the speed limit and why in the world does Gordon care about a man driving the speed limit in the lane next to us?  Gordon then realized that was a stupid thing to worry about and that is when I went in for the kill.  When you put yourself in those faster lanes with the more aggressive drivers then you are putting your health and safety at greater risk than I am.  Oh, we have our fender bender’s in the slow lane, but we usually aren’t carted off in an ambulance to the emergency room.  I then told him that I no longer wanted to go anywhere with him because he makes me too nervous and that from now on we can just drive in separate cars.  It was then that he started changing and staying out of those lanes and now comes home not as angry as he used to.  And not as stressed as he used to be as well.  I also no longer hear of all those dramatic stories of near misses that I used to.  Gordon does have a more aggressive personality than I do.  Not that he is aggressive, he’s just more aggressive than me.


So, Life in the Slow Lane, Huh?

Sounds boring doesn’t it?

Well, it may be boring but it is safer, smarter, more responsible…..

I want to talk about something else that just happened recently out in California.  A woman was driving down the highway in Orange County when a white van cut her off and she flipped them the bird for doing so.  That is when someone in that van shot into the back of the woman’s car with a bullet hitting the stomach of her 6 year old son.  He died.  Although the woman did nothing wrong with shooting that white van the bird, that does fall under Freedom of Speech, it most likely provoked the reaction from the white van in shooting at her.

Had that been me I wouldn’t have done anything.  I’m not the kind of person that goes around flipping people off.  Oh, I would have been upset at the near miss.  But, I would have collected myself and moved on.  It is not in me to go around flipping people off.  It’s just not my personality.

The point that I am getting to is that we live in a dangerous country full of dangerous people with guns.  A bunch of hot heads that would rather kill us than deal with us.  Our government is not going to protect us from these crazy people with guns whether they be democrats or republicans, therefore we need to look out for ourselves.  I’m not talking about arming up and having shoot out’s at the mall.  I’m talking about perhaps just living life in the slow lane.  If someone cuts you off then maybe think twice before flipping off that hot head.  Maybe taking the longer, safer route to a destination instead of the quicker more popular way.

No one is looking out for you!

Our government is not going to protect us from these crazy people with guns so perhaps we need to start looking out for ourselves, and our loved ones?

Life in the Slow Lane is not so bad.  Life is what we make of it.  Is it really important to be the first to arrive at a destination?  Let someone else blaze that trail and just arrive when all is taken care of and safe.

Know that bad things do happen to those of us in the Slow Lane but just not as bad or as serious as those that don’t.



P.S.  Gordon had to go through physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, and have knee replacement surgery because of that wreck.  He also suffers from migraine’s, about 2 a month.  They started right after that wreck.


May 29, 2021

Looking Forward to Memorial Day Weekend

Sunning in the Herb Garden

(Still Covid Shy)

I realize that it is supposed to be an unpopular thing to do in this day and age, sunning oneself.  However, the sun has been a part of my life since I was born, and it always will be.  This is the sunniest side of our house.  We have many trees, as well as our neighbors so we don’t get a lot of sunlight streaming through, except on this part of our property.  Not always, but every now and then I love to lay out in the sun soaking up that vitamin D.  I see why people can become addicted to tanning.  Vitamin D just makes you feel good. 

I also believe that tanning is a form of control.  There was a time many years ago that the only thing in my life that I could control was my skin color and my weight.  I had the darkest tan and the skinniest body.  Other than that I had no control over my life.  But, that was long ago.  Now I just like to get a bit of sun here and there because I enjoy it.

There are Vitamin D pills that you can take to give you that lift that the sun does.  It won’t tan your skin but it will improve your mood.  Something to think about, huh?

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend isn’t what it used to be.  Before there were parades and events honoring those that lost their lives defending our country.  Now it’s just a day off where we drink and grill out.  There are those of us that do still think of those that sacrificed for us.  And those that do not care less about it.  Gone are the parades and the acknowledgements.  Now we just eat, drink and be merry.

It’s o.k., I’m not here to criticize or condemn.  I do think it is sad that so many sacrificed their lives so that the end result is that half of my country could be fascists and try their best to turn us into an authoritarian society by over throwing our government.  Which is what happened and where we are headed.  Can it be stopped?  Not by weak people.  It will take strength.  Power.  Action.  So, no.  Not much will be done because the so called “good guys” are weak as hell.

Our only options are to either fight to the death, or conform and go underground.  Be silenced until perhaps the day comes where we can safely speak out and make change.  Survival is all about conforming to what is going on around us.  The smart adapt, the weak die out.

I have no Earthly idea what is to come but judging by the democrats response to everything the republicans do is pathetic.  We don’t need wimps, we need fighters.

So, this Memorial Day I weep for those that wasted their lives dying for a nation that is rooting for the day we can have a dictator to rule over us.  You wasted your time, you wasted your life.  But not to worry, I’m sure your children will defend your sacrifice.  Or not.  We’ll see.

Although I am only one voice I do acknowledge your sacrifice.  I thank you and appreciate you.



May 25, 2021

And I Bet You Thought I’d Have This Done By Now

Haven’t Unpacked From our Renovations

I just thought I would catch up a bit.  We’ve been busy.  A good busy, not a stressful busy.  We’ve also been exhausted from our outside projects.  But a good tired, not a worthless tired.  When we go to bed at night we may be a bit sore and tired but it’s a satisfied tired.  When you are pleased with all that you have accomplished for the day.  I go to bed with a smile on my face.  🙂

Gordon finished the front yard new retaining wall.

This was a big upgrade to our front yard from the jungle that we had.


We also finished the backyard herb garden, side of the house, stones project.

A Picnic in the Herb Garden


Gordon ripped them up from here:

This is the area we are having professionally paved so we are having to remove these stones to make way for the progress.  We needed somewhere to put them so I got the idea to place them all along our side herb garden.  Gordon had the suggestion that we pour grass seed all around the stones in the photos above, so that grass can grow up through the spaces.

Initially Gordon wanted to place the stones along the herb garden on top of a sand base which is what you do if you really want it done professionally.  I however, just think that when rainy season gets here and that side of the house always floods, I believe they will just sink into the ground and settle themselves.  It will also be nice to walk on the stones as opposed to the soggy wet ground which is always the case.


Gordon Repairing and Rebuilding the C-Shaped Retaining Wall

Gordon built this retaining wall about 12 years or so ago.  It was perfect, and it was the very first one he ever built.  This was even before we put up the fence so we had neighbors always wandering over to our backyard to look at it.  However, as the years have passed tree roots have interfered with it’s perfection, along with our fountain falling apart and the original azalea’s just didn’t look that good anymore so we decided that we wanted the whole thing redone and built up all over again with something nice and new inside.

The urgency to get this repaired and rebuilt quickly is because we are having that entire area around the retaining wall professionally done as in a nice patio, and a path around the retaining wall to our round retaining wall right outside our back screen door.  Also, a brick path from the time we enter our backyard through our double fence to this retaining wall.

The professional work is supposed to start in the next few weeks.  I wouldn’t mind putting it off another month or so just to have the time to complete a few more projects before the work starts.  Also, there is prep on our part to get done before they start and I would love the extra time.  However, I think we go by their time line and not ours.

The good news is that we have a 3 day weekend coming up, Memorial Day, and we have something very special planned to cook, but we also have lots of work planned so that we can do as much as possible before the professional work starts.

Very Excited for All That is to Come,



May 9, 2021

Happy Mother’s Day


May 6, 2021

Grump’s New Border Wall

(A.K.A. (G)ordon’s T(rump) New Border Wall

We’re building a border wall to keep the squirrels out.  Yeah right!

Actually, if you have been following along then you know we hired a shady landscaper to remove our jungle that we had here……

The Before Photo of Said Jungle

Now that the area has been cleared Gordon has started construction on his “border wall” as we like to call it.  🙂

He’s still working on it and once he has completed it then we will add some nice plants and then cover the area in wood chips.  It will look very nice until our yard guys blow leaves and debris into it just so they don’t have to pick anything up and cart it away. But hey, at least it will be beautiful for about 30 minutes.  Just long enough for me to photograph and make everyone think it looks like that all the time.

The Sprinkler Guys

Again, if you have been following along then you know of our encounter with Lyin’ _Rian and his Extremest Landscaping LLC where he really did rip us off and not only did his crew chop through ONE of our sprinkler pipes, we discovered that he had actually chopped through THREE of them!  THREE!!!  That explains why he never bothered fixing the one pipe that Gordon did find out about.  He knew it was a much bigger job so he kept quiet.  Oh, and do you remember the cables that I told you that he chopped through?  We thought they were old telephone cables?  They were actually sprinkler cables that had to be repaired otherwise our valves won’t open to allow water through the pipes in order to water our lawn.

The good news is that we contacted a sprinkler company through the recommendation of a neighbor, the two brother’s who own the business showed up on Tuesday, stayed over 4 hours fixing everything.  They even geared our sprinklers to water certain areas that don’t get much water.  And the bill was just over $800.00.  We’re just happy that everything is fixed and working.  We are not going to dwell on Lyin’ _Rian, we are more interested in moving forward and completing the new front yard landscaping and making it look nice.  We are also very excited about the projects that will be coming to fruition in our backyard soon.

You know, everyone has gotten ripped off during their lifetime by some con artist.  We however, have been very lucky in our lives to not have encountered much of that.  So, as I see it, it was just our turn.  Glad our turn is over with.  🙂



May 3, 2021

Where I Stand on the Trans Issues

(I’m pretty much just figuring things out as time goes by.)

This is actually more of an advocation to allow those of us who really don’t have much of an opinion, time to just sort of let things unfold as they will?  After all, we will get used to it no matter what it is so let’s just give it some time?

I keep reading about how some politicians are banning healthcare for trans youth, banning them from participating in competitive sports, and banning them from using public restrooms that are different from their birth gender assignments.  (See, I did refer to ‘birth gender assignments’ as having some thoughtful acknowledgement to the trans community.)  🙂

I cannot imagine being born as a female on the outside, but being a male on the inside?  I cannot imagine having to wear dresses and make up when I really want to wear jeans and flannel shirts?  I know these people exist and I sympathize with their situation. 

There is a very famous actress out there that you all know of and that is a few years older than me.  She has had a successful acting career.  She was born into two famous parents whose names you all know, as in famous movie stars.  I believe they are both dead at this writing.  She just happened to be born with both a penis and a vagina at birth.  And, for whatever reason her parents decided to make her a girl?  Perhaps on the advice of the doctor?  Perhaps the vagina was more formed than the penis?  I don’t know any details, I only know the story. But, when you look at this actress she not only looks very masculine, but she also look very feminine all at the same time.  That would explain having both hormones inside of her.  I am a fan of hers.  I love her movies especially around HALLOWEEN….. (Look, I’m spoon feeding you people into figuring this out.)

Anyway, she was one of the first actresses to get breast implants.  After all she didn’t really have breasts because of the male inside of her.  She also can’t have children which is why she adopted two children with her husband.  So yes, she is married to a man.

Just imagine for a moment if her parents had decided to make her a boy at birth instead of a girl?  Would she be a gay man?  She is married to a man after all.  Or, would “he” be transitioning into a “she?”

I can’t imagine having those kinds of problems?


It was during Gordon’s graduation from culinary school that I was in the bathroom when what looked like a man walked in.  My first thoughts were to say, ‘this is the ladies room.’  It was then that it dawned on me that the “man” is probably a “woman” who wants to be a man but she is forced to use her ‘birth gender assignment’ bathroom.  Anyway, “he” seemed harmless enough so I didn’t fear that “he” was in there to attack me or something like that?  I then went on with my business.  But, I can see how women or girls using that bathroom might become alarmed by a “man” just walking in?  Yet, if people were allowed to use the bathroom of the sex they are transitioning into, then that makes more sense to me.


No one should be disqualified from receiving quality healthcare yet I live in a country that pretty much does it’s best to disqualify all of us.  Even us so called “normal” people.


I know that J.K. Rowling got in trouble for her negative comments on the trans community.  The actors in her Harry Potter movies even spoke out condemning her for those comments.  That is when some supporters of Ms. Rowling’s then criticized all of the young actors and actresses as biting the hand that fed them.  My comment on that?  Those children made those movies interesting.  Ms. Rowling needed them just as much as they needed her.

Besides, J.K. Rowling knows a thing or two about biting the hand that fed her.

Nancy Stouffer of Pennsylvania wrote a few children’s books called Larry Potter in the early 80’s.  By the time J.K. Rowling wrote her Harry Potter, Ms. Stouffer’s books were out of print. 

Nancy Stouffer from Pennsylvania

N.K. Stouffer

Sound familiar?  Ms. Stouffer writes about Larry Potter who has brown hair and glasses.  She writes about his best friend Lilly, she writes about Muggles….and something about a Nimbus 2000?  I could go on but this is not the topic that I intended to write here.  The sad truth is that once the Harry Potter book came out Ms. Stouffer noticed similarities to her books and that is when a team of 15 attorneys from the U.K. descended upon her to shut her up.  They bullied her into silence because the Harry Potter franchise was just beginning and there was lots of money to be made.  Disgusting!

I will say this about J.K. Rowling, she is a very talented writer and she did make those stories more interesting than Nancy Stouffer ever did.  I’ve read a few books myself.  Of course I know every movie by heart but I just wish that she had done something to make right, a wrong.  As I understand it Ms. Stouffer just wanted the right to put her books back in circulation but was prevented from doing so by the J.K. Rowling team.  Although now that all the J.K. Rowling team money has been made you can find Ms. Stouffer’s books for sale out there online now. 

But, back to our topic at hand…..

The trans community exists and they aren’t going anywhere.  They can’t help that they were born one way but exist another way.  I don’t care to bully them, I don’t care to discriminate against them, and I don’t care to deny them of much needed healthcare.  Just like the rest of us, they need a home to live and a job to work.  They deserve those things just like the rest of us.  The only time I ever agree with the anti-trans people is where competitive sports exists.  A man in a wig is going to win most every time against a woman.  That’s why we have men’s sports and women’s sports, and keep them separate.  My husband is stronger than me and faster than me.  There is no competition where psychical strength is concerned. He wins hands down!

I was sitting in my doctor’s office when I overheard a couple talking about a man they saw wearing a dress and they were a bit befuddled about it.  That was when my name was called and as I stood up to head through the door to my appointment I just looked at them and said, “Don’t worry, we’ll all get used to it.”  🙂

And we will,



May 2, 2021

During our home renovations I came across this:

My Grandmother’s Friend Bunny O’Neill bought one of Princess Diana’s dresses from when she put them on sale by the advice of her son William.  I really like the story because Diana just had too many clothes and she wondered what to do with all of them?  That is when William suggested that she sell them.  Brilliant idea!  And so Diana did.

June 1997, two months before her death.

Bunny With Diana

I’m sorry, but as an Empath, all you have to do is look at Diana’s face to know how amused she is by Bunny.  Probably because of her accent and very flirty southern ways.  But, she is Not impressed at all. 

Bunny is from Rome, Georgia.  Bunny was my Grandmother’s friend.

I’m very happy that people are interested in Diana once more.  She will now have her voice heard when it wasn’t prior to.  I hear you Diana.  I always did.



April 27, 2021

Lyin’ _Rian Landscaping LLC

The Front Yard Jungle

A Close Up Of Our Front Yard Jungle

Rocky The Squirrel (I just know it’s him.)  🙂

(A squirrel I rescued a few years ago from a fallen nest, took care of him, and then placed him and the nest back in the tree so that his mother would then get him.  She did!  Happy ending!  That is Rocky’s tree and he let me get fairly close before the ran off.)


A few weeks ago Gordon and I were outside thinking about what to do with our landscaping?  It’s overgrown, our yard men don’t do the work they used to, as in remove dead branches and palms, they just rape the yard of grass and then move on.  They did used to do upkeep as well as mowing the grass.  They no longer do that.  So, it rests on us to take up the slack.  Well, we are getting older and not so interested in all this hard work.  As it is we take care and maintain our backyard ourselves, we just wanted professionals to do the front yard so that we didn’t have to worry about it because of our HOA, Home Owner’s Association.  Well……

If your wondering why we don’t just get new yard guys then understand that I wonder that too sometimes?  However, I think that is just what is out there.  No one cares.  No one takes pride in their work anymore.  People just want to get paid a lot of money for a mediocre job.  Most people around here complain about their workers.  So, if we hire new people then perhaps we may get better, or we just may get worse.  I am noticing a pattern in many areas in America where now that things are opening back up the services we all used to have whether it be healthcare, or lawncare, things just seem to be getting worse.  America has been circling the drain since the G.W. Bush years but now I think that the aftermath of the pandemic is now pulling us down that drain.  Unless radical changes are made in these next few years to really save America from itself then all the good times will be behind us with not much at all to look forward to.

Over The Top CUTZ Landscaping LLC

The company of Lyin’ _Rian.  Obviously not his real name, nor is his company named “Over The Top CUTZ” but, I’ve changed the names to protect this Lyin’ _Rian asshole for some reason?

I hired Lyin’ _Rian to do a few landscaping jobs for me a few years ago when Gordon was working overseas.  I thought he did a fairly decent job.  I was never 100% happy with him and his crew but, I was about 80% happy and even then that was considered decent work?  That is when I suggested that we call him to do a few jobs for us now so that we don’t have to do them.  And, we can focus more on the creative side of the project and not the backbreaking parts.

He came out and gave us an estimate.  Close to $3,000.00 for all the work we wanted him to do.  Gordon objected to the amount of money he was asking to remove 2 of the white bird of paradise trees.  You see, underneath the ground those trees have a bulb about 4 feet round that needs to be hacked out of there.  Very difficult to remove which is why they withstand hurricane’s so well.  Same with palm trees.  They don’t really have roots like normal trees, they just have this big bulb that keeps on expanding.

Gordon asked him to clear a few more things for us and to keep the price the same and then we have a deal.  Lyin’ _Rian agreed and told us the work would begin on Saturday the 17th.  Great!  We were happy to find out it would begin so soon.  So, we awoke to a Saturday storm that lasted all day so Lyin’ _Rian emailed that they weren’t coming and that they would come on Monday.  O.K.  We understood, no one should be expected to work in those kinds of conditions and we then looked forward to Monday.  We awoke to yet another day of drenching rain and storms.  Again, Lyin’ _Rian emailed that they wouldn’t be coming that day and that they would come on Tuesday.  O.K.  So we awaited Tuesday with baited breath.  Tuesday was also a soaker, so Lyin’ _Rian said they would come on Friday the 23rd.  Fingers crossed that it would be nice!  It was!  I believe he called and said that he would be at our house after lunch. I didn’t like that he would be coming later on in the day but at this point we were willing to take any time he would give us.

(One thing that never made sense to me is why he was scheduling us on rainy days?  You can look up your local weather and on The Weather Channel for an accurate update, and even an hourly update.  I knew that Lyin’ _Rian would do that from the past jobs that I had hired him to do.  He would even tell me the hour of a storm that was approaching and assuring me that they would be finished before the storm hit.  So, why did he keep scheduling us for rainy days?  Why wasn’t he checking for these weather updates like he used to?  Or, perhaps he was and kept scheduling us on those days on purpose.  But why?  I had paid him in full when we agreed to a deal so our paying him wasn’t the problem, so what was?)

It must have been close to 2:00 p.m. when Lyin’ _Rian’s workers arrived.  We were happy to have them here but they never got out of the truck until about 30 minutes later.  We assumed they were waiting for Lyin’ _Rian to get here but he never came so they finally got out of the truck and started working.  Gordon talked to them and got them set up because he wasn’t sure that they even knew what to do?  They started working and then Lyin’ _Rian must have gotten here after 3:30 with our new massive Bismarck Palm Tree!!!  Oh, I never told you, we wanted to replace all that jungle with a beautiful Bismarck Palm Tree and have it be the centerpiece of that side of the yard.

Cutting Down the White Bird of Paradise Trees

And replacing it with…..


Yep!  That’s our “massive” Bismarck Palm Tree.

It’s the envy of the neighborhood.  🙁

THIS is what we paid for!

And THIS is what we got!

Oh, and I’m not even to the good part!  Stay tuned!


On a ‘not so screwed over’ note:  Lyin’ _Rian did managed to pick us up these Cranium’s. 

They will go around our massive Bismarck Palm Dud.  But WE will be planing them ourselves.

And I just remembered that we had to give him an extra $50.00 for these so I guess we were screwed over after all.


While Lyin’ _Rian’s crew were chopping up one of those bulbs underneath the ground Gordon came in and asked if we had internet?  I said yes.  He then asked about the phone?  Yes, it works, why?  Uh, because they just hacked through some cables outside.  CABLES??  What cables?  Everything seems to be working.  That’s when I remembered that I think those must be the old telephone ables so it’s probably o.k.  Whew!  Gordon breathed a sigh of relief and went back outside. 

15 minutes later……

Gordon:  Uh, Julie?  They just busted a sprinkler pipe.

Me:  WHAT?  Can they fix it?

Gordon:  Yes, _Rian also works on sprinklers.  We just need to pay him a $50.00 assessment fee and he will give us an estimate on the damage. 

Me:  (In really bold letters because this was me upset.)

WHAT???  He busted our pipe and now he wants $50.00 to tell us how much money he’s going to charge us to have it fixed for something that his team did????




Allow me to explain to you something about Gordon.  When faced with being conned he just cannot fathom that someone would/could do something like that to him so he refuses to see it.  I’ve always said that I am married to Phil Dunphy from the hilarious T.V. show Modern Family.  Phil is nice, talented, funny, a great husband and a great father and a great friend but when it comes to seeing people for what they really are, he just can’t see it.  Or rather he just doesn’t want to.

Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen as Phil and Claire Dunphy

a.k.a.  Gordon and Julie Whann

Yes, it’s true.  I married a Phil.  I also pretty much have that same expression on my face as Claire does most days.  And Claire and I both drink a hell of a lot of wine too.  🙂


We also hired Lyin’ _Rian to remove the mess in our backyard “construction site” and level the area out, place one of those dark blackout plastics down on top of the dirt so that no weeds can grow up through it, and then stack everything back neatly as Gordon is planning on fencing in our construction site so that our backyard will look much nicer and we don’t have to stare at that mess all the time.

Here they moved the mess from that back corner in order to rip all that growth up.

Here Gordon is separating the block and cap stones that he can use to extend his retaining wall that he will be building soon in the backyard from the bamboo to the end of the old border blocks, which leads to the fence.

It was at this point when they left for the day last Friday and called it quits.  They did tell us that they would be back on Monday.  And they did come back.  I’ll have to post those photos here in just a little bit but, they did manage to rip up all the old azalea’s in the C-shaped retaining wall.  And they did stack things back in that back right corner.

We used to have grass back here until our yard guys ruined it all with their giant rider mowers and scattering rocks from our landscaping beds with their high powered blowers and weed eaters.

It now looks better.  That back corner Gordon is going to fence in to hide all of that stuff and install a gate so that we have access to it.  And you can see the border in front of my Magnolia Tree, Gordon will be replacing all those stones with a retaining wall so that it will look better all the way to the fence.

Underneath the Blue Tarp are things for the Retaining Walls Gordon is to Build

Clean Slate

The fountain bottom came apart from the top so instead of stacking it correctly they just put her atop another piece of statuary and then left.  Looks awful but…….

We do have plans to make this all look better.  Some work by us and some other work by a company that does paving with bricks and blocks to create something fabulous for this area of our backyard.  I’ve wanted this now for about 5 years and we are finally going to get it done from a company that we are very familiar with in our past who we believe will do a great job.  Can’t wait to show you!

In the meantime, this is my backyard project for the week.  Sprucing up the round retaining wall with some nice new Ape’s/Peace Lilies, and Fox Tail Ferns.  Can’t wait!

If you are wondering what we are planning on doing to that area we had cleared in the front of our house then you will just have to stay tuned to find out.  🙂

Oh, and when Lyin _Rian came to finish up the landscaping job yesterday he didn’t touch the sprinkler that he can repair but doesn’t want to so needless to say we will never do business with him ever again.  And now we’ve called in a sprinkler guy to fix it but until he gets here in about a week, we have no sprinkler to water outside.  So, Gordon and I are having to drag out all the hoses and do it manually.  Not fun at all!  🙂

Thanks Lyin _Rian.  You have no honor.  You are a prick.

We will make sure the entire neighborhood knows that.


P.S.  I just thought of a great name for Lyin’ _Rian’s company, Extremist CUTZ.  If you knew the real name you would think so too.  🙂

P.S.S.  How dare he mess with a black woman!  🙂


April 26, 2021

P.S.  I’m Black (I think.)

You know when you research your roots you find out things about yourself?  I know that my ancestry on my mother’s side is Scotch/Irish.  The Scottish men left Scotland and stopped off in Ireland to get a bride, and then migrated over to America.  That is my mother’s side.  My maternal Grandfather was adopted when he was young from a young mother and who knows who the father was except I do know that he had very dark skin and there was a large Greek population in Vincinnes, Indiana when he was born.  My biological father’s side is a bit unknown to me.  I do know that they were racists.  Most likely slave owner’s who had sex/raped their slaves. 

It was when we were living in Maryland, with a very large black population that I was sitting in a stadium full of people for my daughter’s football game, that was when Veronica and her high school band came in with their drums blaring that me and every black person in that stadium started jamming.  I can jam with the best of them.

It was when I was moving like the rest of them that I realized that I was like them.  It kind of explained my flat nose.  Why I won every dance contest that I was ever in when I was in high school.  I was very athletic in my youth, I could dance and even create dances that others would mimic in clubs.  I think that I have always known that I have black blood in me and I need to embrace it and be proud of it.

Oh, my butt is flat as hell and I am o.k. with that.  🙂

I’m guessing that is the white part of me.  Besides, I like my butt arriving at the same time that I do.  So, a large butt in my opinion is a hindrance.  But, that’s just me.  🙂

Anyway, embrace your ancestry and your own history and enjoy it.



I have been having a blast today updating my:

The Meaning of Mother’s Day

I have a few stories that I am adding if you would like to take a look.  Scroll all the way to the bottom of that very long page to read new content.  But, in the meantime, I will share with you a beginning excerpt.

April 20, 2021

The Steel Magnolia’s I Knew

Everyone has heard of the movie Steel Magnolias starring Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Daryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, Shirley Maclaine, and a great cast of others.  It was a good movie.  It came out in 1989 and it is a movie about a group of women in the south who are friends/nieghbors/coworkers and how their lives are intertwined with all their challenges.  It’s also about the strength of these women.  It is a comedy and a drama, although I prefer the laughter to the tears.  Julia Roberts grew up in the Marietta/Smyra Georgia area not too far from my hometown of Rome.

Growing up in the south I can relate to a lot of the movie, except where guns are concerned.  I didn’t grow up in a gun home.  But, the lovely parties, weddings, and especially the Easter celebration at the end of the movie brings back beautiful memories for me.  Also, the many visits to the Beauty Shop that I took with my grandmother bring back memories.  Her lovely blue hair washed and styled and ready for that Church Suppuh, or the Ladies Fellowship Bible Study Group.  And then there was always her Bridge Club once a week for all the ladies.  Always a luncheon with punch/ice tea, and tea sandwiches.

I would usually hear from my grandmother, “Now Juleh, I don’t want you smokin’ while my guests are heuh.”  To which I would promise not to although I do remember sticking my head out of the window many a time puffing away.  🙂

There were just certain behavior’s that were not excepted although they all did them.  I can’t tell you how many “anti-smokers” I saw taking that drag on that cigarette while driving down the road, or behind the church before Sunday School started.  Once I spotted one of the church ladies who would preach the evil of alcohol emerge from the liquor store carrying that bag of who knows what while nervously looking around to safely get to her car without hopefully being spotted.

One day when I was in Sevierville, Tennessee visiting friends, in the early 90’s, I stopped to get gas and decided to pick up a case of beer for the friends I would be staying with when I loudly heard the woman at the cash register who had apparently spotted me say into the microphone, “YOU CAIN’T BUY BEER ON SUNDEES, HUN!”

EVERYONE in that large mini mart stopped dead in their tracks to look at the SINNER who was tryin’ to buy up that Devil’s Brew on the Lord’s Day.  I just remember being so embarrassed placing it back on the counter and the walk of shame to the register to pay for my gum and probably a pack of cigarettes.  Because smoking is fine on Sunday’s for some reason.  The tobacco industry probably had a hand in making it acceptable.  After all, most of the Tennessee residents had a barn full of tobacco they were drying.

When I got to my friends house where I would be staying I told them what happened at the mini mart, thinking that they would find it silly when they just looked at me incredulously and both said at the same time, “You tried to buy beer own Sundee?”


The thing is that the women of the south always had to be perfect.  Including myself.  Hence, the sneaking around when it came to hiding our unacceptable habits.  We had to look perfect, act perfect, always say the right thing and as sweetly as we could as if sugar were dripping off our chin’s. 


So, With That In Mind,

I Would Like For You To Meet The Steel Magnolia’s That I Knew

(You know where to go to read the rest.)


P.S.  I quit smoking when I was 38 so I am not condoning smoking.  Just so ya know.


April 10, 2021

My Website’s “Under Construction” Posts

I am always asked why I always have posts that are “under construction” and why don’t I just debut them when I have finished the write up’s?  Well, that is because I have always had a cyber-stalker who would tamper and sabotage my work.  You see, my cyber-stalker was a very sophisticated and knowledgeable cyber stalker.  While I would be working on a post, he could access my development and erase all that I had done, EXCEPT, when I had already published the content.  Only then could by web hosting company retrieve all that I had done.  So, it is just out of habit that I work on my website right in front of you. AND, that it is easier to retrieve whatever content that Paul Gray had erased.  That’s why.



April 9, 2021

I just updated an old post with some late 80’s photos:

Me with Baby Veronica and my Little Brother Ben

Julie, Mary Keith and Nell, The Hosts

Florence, Ellisha, Judith Ann, and Lisa

Lisa’s Engagement Bridal Shower

Veronica and I had flown home one Easter in 1988 when we were living in Hawaii for a visit with the family, and for this bridal shower.

My parents were living in downtown Rome, Georgia at the time in the historic district.  It was quite a lovely home.  Just reliving a few nice memories.

All three women, Elissha, Lisa, and Judith Ann, were homecoming queens at Rome High School.  I’m pretty sure that is what will be on their tombstones.  🙂


April 7, 2021

Let’s Go Up To The Attic

(I want to find Veronica’s little Easter collectibles and give those to her this year.  I think she will love to have them and add them to her Easter collection.)

That was the plan so, off to the attic we go!

As we climb up the stairs, turn on the attic light…..

Oh, I wonder if Brodie and Mackenzie might like this lamp for their new place?

I’ll ask them.

The Giant Snakes

(Let’s just step over these to get to the back of the attic.)

Kinda Looks Like Snow, Huh?

Oh!  I remember that urn. 

I wonder if Brodie and Mackenzie might want it for their new place?

Ooooo Hawaiian Stuff!  🙂

Take this box down Gordon!!

There’s Brodie’s weight bench and, our old table from Hawaii. 

Do we still have the glass to it?  Oh, good!

I See Barbie’s!!!

And lot’s of luggage.  Oh, I want Grandma Nell’s Blue Samsonite!  And her train case!

Oh, I remember that green thing!  You know that would be pretty recovered.  Wonder if Veronica or Brodie might want it?  Let’s ask them?


Looky, Looky What I found!

It’s Buffy!!!!  (The Vampire Slayer)

(And Charmed Paperbacks)

I remember when Buffy first came out on T.V.  We were living in Hawaii and we didn’t have the WB Channel to watch it but I had heard and read a lot about the show.  It was when we were on vacation in Rome, Georgia one summer that I tried to get Veronica to watch it.  I told her that there is this new show on T.V. called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I told her that I think she will really like it.  I hear that it is a great show!

That is when Veronica rolled her eyes and said, “Buffy?  Vampire Slayer?  Seriously, Mom?”  Along with more major eye rolls.

It wasn’t until that Christmas that Veronica told me that she wanted “Buffy stuff” for Christmas.  I then had the best time of my life asking, “Buffy stuff?  What Buffy stuff?  You don’t mean that Buffy The Vampire Slayer, do you?  That vampire show on T.V.?  Surely not!  I mean as much as you pooh-poohed it last summer?  No!  I can’t believe it!  As opposed to it as you were?  No!  I don’t believe it!!!  🙂

Well, she went from not wanting anything to do with her to owning many paperbacks, school calendars, comic books, wall calendars, photo stills, action figures that are MIB, and countless memorabilia.


I gathered up all of her Buffy things that I found so far……

and put them in a box for her to do with as she pleases.

Young teen Veronica, and some of her Buffy Drawings

Angel on a Dollar Bill, and the High School Yearbook for Buffy and the Gang

Buffy and Faith Action Figures

The Coconut Veronica Painted of Buffy and the Cast

(I did mention that we were living in Hawaii at the time, right?)


And, let’s not forget the Beannie Babies

Happy to be rid of these!  🙂

Trying to downsize in my senior years.  Really!  🙂



 April 4, 2021

Happy Easter



March 21, 2021

Visiting Brodie and Mackenzie’s New Apartment

Gordon and I in the Gazebo at Their Dog Park


The Trunk is Loaded With Housewarming Gifts


Decades ago I read something that Dolly Parton had said about how she would rather buy 200 things for $1.00 each as opposed to spending $200.00 on 1 thing.  I could immediately relate to that quote.  ME TOO!  I can play and have more fun with 200 things than I can 1.

Which is why when it came to putting this housewarming gift together for Brodie and Mackenzie I wanted to give them many things that they can use as opposed to 1 thing they can stare at.

It’s also important for me to give them things that they like, things that they want, and things that I want to give to them.  I like giving a gift that I enjoy as well.

Makings for Hawaiian Chili Cheese Rice

(Short grain Calrose Rice, Darn Good Chili packets, and cans of goodies to extend the life of each package.)

During lockdown Mackenzie stayed here with us and one night I made a big pot of chili.  She loved it!  So, I decided to give her all the ingredients that it takes to make it, times 2.  And, to give them a big pot to cook it in as well.  Lo and behold, they didn’t even have a pot so that was a good purchase.


Even though Brodie does a lot of the cooking, it’s still pretty much a woman’s kitchen.  At least when it comes to colors and the set up of it all.  With that in mind….

…Mackenzie had told me that she was interested in colors of Blue and Green so Gordon and I set about choosing some things for them with her colors in mind.

Place Mats, Colander’s, Mixing Bowls, and the Cutting Board with Brodie in mind.


Helping to Stock the Pantry

Starting a kitchen from scratch for a young couple moving into their first place together can be costly.  Especially for foodies.  So, we wanted to help them to stock up their pantry with some of ours/their favorite sauces.  Hoisin Sauce, Aloha Shoyu, Olive Oil, Mirin, Rice Vinegar, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, Sesame Seeds, AND, some of our Bacon Grease.  🙂

And a lighter for the grill at the pool where I know Brodie and Mackenzie will be cooking out now and then.

Gordon Checking out the Grill at the Pool


Blue and Green Accessories

Dish Towels, Oven Mits, Measuring Spoons and Cups, Cooking Spoons and Storage Containers.


More Sauces, Wooden Spoons, Rice Crackers, Eel Sauce, Wasabi Peas…..


A Hawaii Childhood Favorite of Brodie and Veronica

(Always add a sweet treat.)


When it came to transporting all of this over to their house I wanted to place everything into a container that they can keep and use and have it be part of the gift as well.  Hence, this storage container.

Some things wrapped, some things not, and lots of colorful tissue paper.


Don’t forget the Ape (Peace Lily) in a pretty pot.

I like putting a flower or two, or even a plant in with a gift like this because it represents putting down roots.  A plant is more of a commitment whereas flowers are not.  They represent something beautiful and temporary.  The Ape is an easy plant to take care of.  It doesn’t require sunlight to be beautiful and bloom.


Brodie and Mackenzie Looking Through Their Gifts


In Their Kitchen

I love their kitchen!  It’s so pretty and clean and fresh and new.


Although hard to see, there is a bird in a nest with her babies and she is feeding one of them in that lovely gnarly tree.  I love that Brodie and Mackenzie are very excited about it and enjoy watching the progress.

Making Myself Right at Home


The View From Their Lanai

This is such a beautiful gated community with 2 man made lakes, fountains, lots of walking paths all around the area, with many people walking their dogs.  A lot of thought went into designing this community.  They have created an eco-system and sanctuary for all the wildlife to live here and thrive.


At Their Dog Park Taking Lots of Photos

Gazebo at the Dog Park


The Club House and Pool

This is Like a Resort

Love the HUGE Lake!

The Club House

Settling in Outside the Club House

The Gym


We had such a great visit with them.  So glad to see that they are doing well and starting their lives together.  It’s nice for us to look at our children and see them doing well.  Making wise decisions.  Being responsible.  Growing up.  We are very lucky that we have our children in our lives and that they turned out to be such good people and chose really wonderful partners that we love and care for.

Julie  🙂


March 9, 2021

What’s Up?

In The Backyard

(Worst lighting in the world!)  🙁

So, how is everyone doing?  What’s up with you guys?  And what do you think about the whole Meghan and Harry interview?  Huh?  Were you shocked?  Surprised?  Saddened?  Angered?

To those people like me none of it surprised me.  I recognized and wrote about her abuse in that palace atmosphere years ago.  And Didn’t Diana first expose it all decades ago?

Why should any of it surprise any of us?  In a Class System with Kings/Queens/Prince’s/Princess’s/Dukes/Earls/Lords/Lady’s/ and the so called Honorable’s?  They outright designate themselves as being better than everyone else and the public at large just goes along with it.  (You always need sheep to manipulate and follow you otherwise you can’t get away with anything.)

Exactly how can you promote a society of equality when you designate some people as being better and more important than others?

I suppose that our celebrities or our generational political families can be seen as our Royal Families, yet they aren’t.  Celebrities like Dolly Parton and George Clooney use their celebrity to help people and bring attention to suffering whether here in America or around the world.  But, I don’t pay to support either of them to keep them in their lifestyles.  I may donate money to their causes because I believe in them but that is my choice.

As far as our political families go, our tax dollars do support our Executive Branch, our Legislative Branch, and our Judicial Branches of our government but it is their job to serve us.  At least that is how it is supposed to be.  Sometimes we have good government, other times we don’t.  However, the British people are stuck with their Royals for life.  We aren’t.  That is the difference.

I was really surprised at how harsh the British public was to Harry and Meghan but when I hear about how the Royals have a relationship with the tabloids then it makes sense.  Meghan called it correctly, the tabloids don’t report the news they create the news.  (She said something to that effect, don’t quote me.)

Life is hard enough for the average person, I can only imagine what those in the spotlight go through whether Royal, or Celebrity, or Political.

I am guessing that the reason we think so differently from the British is that America is a more open society and Britain is more of a ‘sweep it under the rug’ kind of society.  I do admit that American’s are over sharer’s.  I myself overshare.  But where abuse is concerned, when you keep quiet about it then you are protecting the abuser.  Meghan was exposing the toxic environment of a British Institution.  The Firm and The Family.  Do you want a racist as King?  No?  Well, you don’t have a choice do you?  WE DO!  And we said NO to our racist President.  You can’t.  That’s what  monarchy is.  You get your racist until he dies.  We voted ours out.

When our lovely American Meghan Markle married into the Royal Family I guess we had hopes that she and Harry could do some good while in that family.  The African-American community was so happy to see one of their own in the oldest family in the world.  They finally had their very own Princess and they were so happy about that.  Only to find out that she was mistreated, abused, and pretty much pushed out of that family.  I cannot believe that the Royals would be so cruel as to cut Harry off where his security for himself and his family are concerned.  They of all people should understand how important that is.  I can’t imagine cutting my children off to fend for themselves where kidnapping and death threats are concerned.  But then again, I love my children and their partners and my future unborn grandchildren.

Because Meghan married a Prince she wants for her children the same thing that the others in the Royal Family get.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Speaking out is her way of protecting her child Archie and her unborn child.  It is their heritage.  She is exposing the truth.  Does that make me a hypocrite for agreeing that Archie should receive what he is entitled to from a Royal Family that I am dissing?  Yes and No.  To me a Royal Family is outdated and should be abolished.  However, because Archie was born into the family by a father who is a Prince, he should receive what he is entitled to.  It is only fair.

As for any future children born into an abolished monarchy, well, then no, there is nothing for you.

The only thing I have ever loved about a Royal Family are their weddings.  They are fairy tale!  However, if I never see another one again I’m pretty sure I’ll live.  So will you.

You know, I never meant to write this much about the Royal Family.  I just wanted to tell you that Brodie and Mackenzie have their own place now.  Not too far from us.  Yea!!!  And that Mackenzie found a great job.  Yea!!!  And that Veronica and Brian are doing good.  Yea!!!  And that Gordon and I are fine and doing well.  Yea!!!




March 8, 2021

Harry and Meghan’s March 7, 2021 Oprah Interview

Harry and Meghan Talk to Oprah About “Megzit”

If any of you know me well then you know that I am going to write something about this interview.  I was such a fan of the late Princess Diana and I have of course, followed her children and their upbringing, university life, relationships, marriages, births, etc., and without really even trying.  The information is just out there whether you look for it or not.  However, Harry and Meghan have been of interest to me.  I was so impressed with the first interview that I saw of her when she and Harry were speaking on their engagement and upcoming wedding.  I was impressed!  She was no dummy.  She isn’t just a pretty face.  She is smart, intelligent, interesting, talented, nice, considerate, kind, and so on, and so on….


Harry and Meghan Engagement Interview November 27, 2017

I can remember watching this interview and falling in love with the two of them.  I was so impressed with how intelligent that Meghan was.  How well she came across.  She commanded the interview while sharing with Harry and bringing him into the conversation all at the same time.  And what I noticed of Harry is that he was a much more mature young man than I remember seeing in the news all those years.  Meghan can carry her own in an interview that many would be very shy about.  Think back to Diana in the early years.  And even Kate when she became engaged to William.  Neither one was the outgoing personality that Meghan is.  But, Meghan is a bit older and wiser than Diana and Kate were.  Plus, Meghan had been living on her own, creating her own celebrity and supporting herself before she met Harry.  She created her own success.  But, then she met her Prince Charming and fell in love.  They are a couple that are in love with each other.  They are committed to each other, Archie, their unborn child, their dogs, their causes, the environment and up until they were forced into the “Megzit,” they were committed to their patronages.

I always knew that Meghan wanted a role in that family and was willing to do anything to support her husband, the Royal Family, and help people in the process.  And also, Meghan does like the spotlight.  She just wants it honest and fair.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the spotlight.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying getting all fixed up with nice clothes and full hair and make-up to attend an important event where she would give a speech acknowledging and bringing attention to an organization or a cause.  

I think it’s sad that when Kate does that she is recognized as being sincere and hard working, yet when Meghan does that she is seen as greedy and out of place, and a ‘who does she think she is’ kind of an attitude.  Let’s all criticize her jewelry and the cost of her clothing and those earrings she is wearing.  I did know that Meghan was too smart for the Royal Family.  They don’t want smart women.  They want women they can control.  They could not control Diana.  Diana wasn’t necessarily intelligent, she was an Empath.  She knew things because she could read feelings and not necessarily figure things out.  They like Kate because they can control her.  Kate knows how to play the game.

Barefoot in California with Harry and Meghan  🙂

Pregnant with baby Veronica.  (I made that up.  I just hope they name her Veronica.)

(They are very welcome to copy my website name.  I don’t mind!  I would consider it an honor.)

I do have to say that the accusations former employees of Meghan and Harry are making against her as being a bully is so unbelievably laughable!  Bully’s are not loner’s.  They are not brave.  They are cowards.  They call on their supporters to back them up as they go on the attack of whomever they want to go after. 

Meghan was mostly alone over in England.  She had no supporters in that family.  You know that marrying into the most famous family in the world is intimidating.  No one, especially a foreigner is going to join that family and start bullying people around.  Oh, NO!  You will want to be excepted, supported, liked, loved, you want to be part of the family.  You want to be accepted but you also want to be able to be yourself.  So, how sad that Meghan was told to be 50% less than she was.  That is disgusting.  It’s like being told to build something with both hands tied behind your back.  And why would anyone want to be less than they were born to be?

I do like that Harry and Meghan are acknowledging the kinds of things that Diana went through in the family.  Married to that awful Charles and being bullied by the Royal Family and The Firm.

Harry, Meghan Pregnant, and Little Archie

(I read that all of these “black and white” photos with grey tones are intentional.  They are a black and white family creating grey children.  But, not in a boring grey way.  In a melding grey way.)


Kate Made Meghan Cry

Princess Charlotte and The Duchess of Cambridge

Harry and Meghan’s Wedding Day, May 19, 2018

I remember the original story of how Meghan made Kate cry over the bridesmaid’s wearing tights on the wedding day?  That never held water for me, if that was indeed what the argument was about.  It’s the bride that tends to be emotional around the wedding, not the participants.  After all, we want things to be perfect on our big day.  I can remember crying and getting upset because my brother Johnny never asked off from work when he was working at McDonald’s in Rockingham, North Carolina and couldn’t be a groomsman in our wedding.  (I found out from my other brother that he just didn’t want to come to my wedding so he made that up.  Luckily, we found someone to take his place.)  But, I was very hurt by that because I wanted him there.  So, I knew it wasn’t Meghan that made Kate cry.  That just never made sense to me.  Meghan is not an unreasonable person.  She listens and wants to find a solution that everyone accepts.


I would like to state that Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge does carry out her duties to her country and her family, and her Queen, with honor, dedication and integrity.  But, that doesn’t mean that she isn’t a bully that has no problem hurting those that she deems worthy of her wrath.

I found it very interesting that on the wedding day when the reverend and the black choir was singing that Kate shot Camilla this look.  It was a look of disapproval, of prejudice, of racism.  I will never forget it.  It was the look of every mean girl/boy/man/woman that I have ever known in my life.  That same posture.  That, is the future Queen of England. 

You can have her.


P.S.  We’re the lucky ones!  We get Harry, Meghan, Archie and little Veronica  🙂


February 24, 2021

Texas and Tiger Woods

(Exactly why should we feel sorry for either one?)

I realize that I am coming across as a bit harsh and rather heartless.  I would like to state that I always feel for the suffering of children and animals.  It’s most adults and their selfishness where my empathy ends and does not extend to them.  I would like to start with Tiger Woods.

Tiger Woods

When I first heard of the accident my thoughts went to him in the hope that he would be alright.  Hearing that no one was in the vehicle but him was a bit of good news because he does have 2 children.  Other thoughts that I had were on how did this even happen?  Did someone run him off the road?  After all, the accident occurred at 7:12 a.m.  I knew that alcohol probably didn’t play a role in the crash as most people aren’t drinking that early in the morning.  But, just looking at the extent of the damage done to the automobile, hearing how extreme the wreck was, and learning that he had to be cut out of the car, it just brought to mind some sort of other automobile that just had to be involved but fled the scene?

Only to learn that Mr. Woods was the only car involved and that he just lost control of the vehicle because he was speeding to meet up with his football buddies for some Golf T.V thing.  Really?  So all of this is because he was running late and in a hurry?  Do you know that he could have seriously injured or killed others on the road that morning?

The man is in his mid 40’s with 2 children and if I remember correctly doesn’t he have a fiance?

Tiger Woods has a long history of recklessness.  Reckless behind the car and reckless in his personal life. 

So what if he is the greatest golfer in the world?  He is a danger to himself, his family, and to anyone that he may encounter on the road because he is a reckless person.  I don’t feel sorry for people like him.  I feel sorry for the people that may encounter him.  It’s one thing to be reckless in our youth, it’s another to be reckless in middle age at a time when he should have learned a thing or two from his past mistakes.

If I were his ex-wife Elin I would from now on insist that he be barred from driving his children anywhere in the future.  He is too much of a danger to them.



(Everything is bigger in Texas, even their disasters by design.)

Now comes the controversy where my opinions should net me a lot of hatred coming my way.  Well, then so be it.  You see, I know quite a bit about Texas and the people thereof, especially their mindset. 

My step-father, the man who raised me from the age of 7 when he married my mother, up until the day he died in 2013 was born and raised in Texas.  Pecan Gap/Ben Franklin area.  He was my “father” for 44 years and the man who has done the most damage to me in life.  He also brought with him into the marriage a son, my step-brother, who also is one of the most horrid human beings I have ever known in my life.  He lives in Texas still and is a proud as punch republican who adores the likes of Karl Rove, George W. Bush, Ted Cruz, and I’d bet my life he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.  So, need I say more about him?

My step-father’s family that are all still out there scattered throughout Texas are pretty rotten on their own.  Whether from personal experiences or from all the gossip I’ve heard about them and all from one of their own.  The point that I am trying to reach is that a large portion of the people of Texas don’t have a problem with concentration camps being on their borders.  They don’t have a problem taking children away from their parents and relocating those children to other people around the country without worry if they are o.k. or not?  They also don’t have a problem inflicting their religious beliefs on others where health issues are concerned.  Whether that be birth control or abortion. Those are the kinds of people that live in Texas.  These Texans do not have a problem denying people they don’t like healthcare, or basic living wages, or simple respect.  They don’t believe in charity or helping others.  The only people they believe in helping is themselves.  I really could go on and on and on….. but I don’t want to.

Oh, and let’s not forget how the “pro-lifer’s” that they are love their wars, guns, and the death penalty.  Super fun!

Just 2 weeks prior to the big storm they, the politician’s and the people of Texas were all talking about secession.  Well, well, well.  What do they do when they need help?  Turn to government to help them.  Well Texas, the way you have your energy system set up is nothing that Biden and the rest of America can help you with.  You chose that system yourselves because your favorite son’s George W. Bush and Kenny Boy Lay set it up that way.  Oh and Ken Lay was responsible for the collapse of ENRON.  Funny that W. went from calling him Kenny Boy, to Mr. Lay.  Cute!  Oh, and Kenny Boy died shortly after the collapse of ENRON when the government was closing in on him.

Texas has bragged about the fact that they don’t like helping people.  For decades now!  So, now that they need help, because of pretty much what they have done to themselves, we are all supposed to stop what we are doing and help them?  Sorry, the mean girl in me, who has been a victim of quite a few rotten Texan’s, finally say’s “I’m done with you.  Whatever happens, happens.”

When they are ready to sit at the adult table and act like adults then I will welcome them back.  But, not until then.  They have done way too much damage to way too many people.

I would like to say this to those good people of Texas:

I sympathize with you.  I want you and your families and pets to be o.k.  I am rooting for you and I am on your side.  I too live in a red state filled with some pretty rotten people so I understand your pain.  The same thing you are going through can very easily happen to us in the form of a hurricane.  And when people across the country turn against us here in Florida?  Well, then my state will deserve it.  Sadly.

I don’t have the answers to all of our problems but I do know that we need to shun the ways that don’t work, and support the ways that do.  Shun the people that don’t work, like Ted Cruz, and welcome and support the people that do, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who raised money for Texas while Ted Fled to Cancun, Mexico.

  Do you want to live?  Then quit voting for republican’s.


P.S.  Have you noticed that there haven’t been a lot of offers to help Texas?  Whether it be from around the world or in our own country?  Guess no one really cares about Texas anymore.  Texas only has itself to blame for that.


(I have that dress and that blanket.)  🙂

Turning 60 on February 13, 2021

February 6, 2021

And Why Can’t I Be Happy About Turning 60?

The photos that you see above were taken one week before my actual birthday.  I knew that I wanted to spend turning 60 canoeing in alligator infested waters on my big day.  But, I do love choosing a nice birthday menu and having Gordon make it for me.  Which is why you see me above happy and twirling that I get good food and gifts prior to my gator swamp trip.  And why can’t I twirl at 60?


February 13, 2021

Canoeing on Hillsborough River, Thonotosassa, Florida

Brodie and Mackenzie came with us.  Veronica and Brian were invited but Brain had to work and couldn’t switch shifts with any coworkers, and Veronica didn’t want to come without Brian to protect her.  🙂

Me, Gordon, Brodie and Mackenzie

We only saw about 4 canoe/kayak’s the entire time.  It was wonderful!  All that beauty just for us!  I could not have asked for a better birthday.  Plus, I got to sit back and take photos of it all which is all that I wanted to do anyway.  🙂

Al E. Gator

We must have seen about 35 alligator’s.  Most of the gator’s we saw were from small to medium in size.  We were told that they do have some 10 – 12 foot gator’s but we didn’t see any of those.

It was just so peaceful and tranquil.  I started a new post specifically for this trip and I can’t wait to work on it.  So I will wait to fill you in on all the details, but it truly was a wonderful trip.

One of the many gator’s we saw.

Being out in the raw nature of Florida you really are transported back to some primeval era that just seemed to exist long before I did.  I’m just happy that I got to be a part of it on my special day.



So, How Do I Feel About It?

When I think back over the years to all of my birthdays there are a few that stand out the most.

  Some happy, some sad.

L to R:  Edith, Shannon, Monica, Me, Anne Catherine, Donna, and Joanie

Me, in the back on the left with the red pants.  It is my 9th. birthday and we are living in Dahlonega, Georgia.  I had the best friends there.  I was looking for my 10th. birthday photos in Dahlonega but I can’t find them right now.  But I did come across this photo.  I do remember those Dahlonega one’s as being the best birthday’s.  Probably because I had really good friends that liked me and that I liked in return.  That makes a difference.

One of my saddest birthday’s was moving to Roanoke, Virginia and being the new kid in school.  Roanoke at the time was not very friendly to newcomers.  When my 5th. grade birthday rolled around I invited about 12 girls to my party and only 2 showed up.  And even then I think they only showed up because their parents made them come.

Birthday’s to me are bitter sweet.  Life is bitter sweet.  But, life is also what we make of it.  So, instead of waiting around for someone to plan my birthday at any given age, I started planning them myself.  I stated that THIS is what I want to do for my birthday.  And, everyone got onboard.  It’s been that way now for many years and I have had the best birthday’s because of it.  🙂  Sometimes I think we need to just take charge of our own lives and make them what we want them to be.


At this writing I feel good.  I don’t seem to have the aches and pains that other’s have.  Living in Florida probably has something to do with it.  I have yet to experience any arthritis or joint pain.  I am able to all that I have been doing now for years.  I do notice that I am getting older looking when I look in my bathroom mirror, but that is understandable.  I AM getting older.

I have no idea what my future holds but I plan on enjoying it as long as I can.

My Pistachio Birthday Muffins

Happy Birthday to ME!



January 30, 2021

Happy Birthday Lola

(Finally, something nice and fun to write about.)

My niece in Ireland turned 17 on January 28th.

Her step-mother Sabina made the cake.  Sabina is so talented.  I love the little Covid between the 20 and the 21 in the photo above left.  Some people may be critical of that but life reflects art and creative people will always incorporate life into their art.  Covid is with us everyday and we are lucky to have birthday’s in this age of Covid.

Lola and Vivien

Vivien is Apparently the Comic Relief  🙂

Lola and Kate Playing a Game

Kate Jude, my Oldest Niece in Ireland

You would never know the 3 girls are sisters.  I asked my brother how in the world he had such gorgeous daughters?  He did go through the spectrum of having a blonde, brunette and a red head as his daughters.  🙂

Sometimes I wish they lived here but actually I’m glad they are over there in Ireland.  America isn’t the country it used to be and I think they are much better off living in Europe.

I love and miss all of you!

Aunt Julie


January 23, 2021

Thank Goodness It’s Over!

(For now.)


I think I held my breath all day, that day.

Check out that Biden family Bible Jill is holding.  🙂

Now that the 2021 Presidential Inauguration of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. (Robinette?)


Vice President Kamala Harris…

…is officially over.  I think that most of their supporters have since breathed a big sigh of relief.  WHEW!

We’ve had a few days just to drink everything in and I just can’t get over how quickly the two of them have hit the ground running.  That was something that Obama should have done when he got in there in 2008.  Oh, I love the Obama’s, but, he didn’t do all that he should have done and I do believe that had he done more things we wouldn’t have gotten so out of hand in our country that led up to a Trump in the White House.  Those dangerous republican’s should have been reigned in a long time ago.

I did love that all the significant women wore shades of purple and some blue.

A Show of Unity

But also, I believe, to represent the many colors of our Democratic Party.


The Biden Granddaughters

Although I didn’t watch the entire 4 nights of The Democratic National Convention in 2020, I did watch the last 2 nights and on one of those nights all 4 of the Biden granddaughter’s were interviewed.  That interview was the highlight for me.  They were so cute and funny and just normal young women talking about their grandfather.  Oh, they didn’t sing his praises.  They talked about how annoying he was because he would always call them to check up on them.  They also talked about how he would sneak ice cream out of the freezer and he would try and hide it.  🙂  (Jill must monitor his sweets habits.)

I can’t imagine Donald Trump allowing any of his children or grand-children to say anything about him that didn’t make him out to be a god.  The Biden’s are real, the Trump’s are plastic.  I happen to like “real.”

The Biden’s Walking

(This was also a highlight for me.  Seeing the granddaughters again, walking behind their grandfather and being so proud of him.  Talking, laughing and giggling just like young women do.  I loved it!)

As you know I was not for Joe Biden.  I was more of a Bernie fan.  However, I am for anyone that will conduct the business of the people and if Joe does that, then more power to him.  Personally, I happen to think he is too old.  (Same with Bernie.  But Bernie wanted to erase student debt.)  The job of President of the United States in good times seems to age our leaders.  But, here we are in exceptional times.  I just hope he gets through it and survives it all.  I also hope that our Vice President will be there to take up the slack.  They are another family that I am enamored with at the moment.

The Harris Emhoff Family

I adore Kamala.  I wish her all the best and I am rooting for her to succeed in her endeavor to be a good Vice-President.

I know she wants change but she will also encounter ‘powers that be’ that don’t.  That will be very frustrating for her.

I love the relationship that she has with her husband, and his children from a previous marriage.

Kamala (Momala) with her Step-Children, Cole and Ella

It says a lot that they love her as much as they do.  It also says a lot about their biological mother, Kersten Emhoff, Doug Emhoff’s ex-wife.  I can’t tell you how many women that I know that would do their best to sabotage a good relationship between her children and the new wife.  I know that my former sister-in-law in Ireland will always be there to sabotage 2 of my niece’s minds into making sure they don’t like us here in America.  I believe that is because Cathy is very insecure.  Same with my half-sister’s mother, Dot.  She never wanted her daughter’s to like me because I was just too liberal for them and that threatened her hold over them.  Or so she thought. 


I do so love these two great families and all that they can bring to benefit our country.  I am very worried about them though.

I have a thought on Joe Biden that I would like to share that may be a bit unpopular for me to say, but I am going to say it anyway.  I believe that the reason that he was able to move forward from the death of his first wife Neilia, and baby daughter Naomi, from a car wreck that killed them both, and severely injured his 2 surviving boys in the automobile, is because he was able to replace them.  Before you get mad at me hear me out. 

His first wife Neilia Hunter Biden

Wasn’t She Lovely?

(She would have made a beautiful First Lady.)

The Biden Family

It breaks my heart that Neilia was out shopping for a Christmas tree with her children, Beau, Hunter and Naomi when a tractor trailer slammed into their car killing Neilia and Naomi.

Joe was heartbroken that he lost his wife and his daughter, but then along came Jill.  She was a wonderful woman that loved Joe and his 2 boys.  They got married, she became a mother to Beau and Hunter,  and then had Ashley.  So, Joe was able to replace his lovely wife and daughter that he lost, with another lovely wife and daughter.

I’m not saying that he didn’t love the wife and daughter that he lost.  I am simply pointing out that we only miss those that we cannot replace.


A lot of people would not be able to get over what Joe Biden got over.  That loss would have held quite a few people back in life.  I know that something that tragic would have held me back.  Yet, Joe was able to go on to continue to occupy his Senate Seat.  Then going on to be Vice-President to Barack Obama, and then go on to be President of the United States of America.

If I were to loose Gordon I would be devastated.  Yet, If I could replace him with a Gordon 2.0 then my loss would not be as great.  I would still miss him but the loss would not be as devastating to me if I could find another one just like him. 

Joe Biden is probably the luckiest man in the world that he was able to find 2 wonderful and lovely wives while most of us are lucky to just find one.


The Biden’s

My favorite Biden is Maisie, 3rd. from left.  I love her Valentine dress.  At least that’s what it is to me.  I also love her antique name, Maisie.

The Inauguration Day was beautiful!  I’m glad we all had our social distancing celebrations and festivities.

I can’t help but wonder that if the terrorist attacks of January 6, 2021 hadn’t happened would Joe Biden still be alive?

January 6, exposed the lot of insurrectionist’s in our country and what they are capable of.  It also exposed the Capital police and their role in helping them.  It also exposed our own lawmakers and their role in aiding the terrorists in their attack on our Capital building and our democracy.  But, what if none of that had happened?  Would some lone Trump loyalist have pulled that trigger at the Inauguration and we wouldn’t have a President Biden right now?

Last year I predicted that Joe Biden would win the Presidency but that he would never be President.  Apparently, I was happily wrong!  I don’t know everything.  Sometimes things change, that end up changing the picture.  I was right about the terrorists though.  I was right about the threat.  I don’t know how things will end.  I just don’t see it right now.  But I do know to be cautious.

Until republican’s are made to be accountable for their role in trying to thwart our democracy, and in endangering our democratic lawmakers, then they are still a threat.  They need to be held accountable.  They need to experience jail time.  They need to lose their jobs.  The democrats can no longer sweep the bad behavior of republican’s underneath the rug.  They need to be arrested and face trial for their crimes.  Please, do it for our democracy that you claim to uphold.



January 10, 2021

There is a Blueprint for Everything

There is a blueprint for invading a country.  There is a blueprint for taking over a country.  There is a blueprint for getting a populace to go along with a war, and in starting a war.  (Which always involves a terrorist attack of some kind.  The people must be afraid in order for the government to be able to control them.)  There is a blueprint for discrediting or slandering a person or a business/corporation/country, etc. etc.

There is ALWAYS a Blueprint

The bad people will always be there to follow the blueprint and it’s up to the good people to recognize the blueprint when they see it and try their best to stop it.

What happened on January 6, 2021 will live in infamy.  And what I find so unbelievable is that for the first time in my life I don’t have a problem convincing other people that this was an inside job done by the President of the United States and his supporters, inside and outside of the Capital Building.  I don’t have people thinking I’m crazy for daring to suggest such a thing.  I haven’t been told how paranoid that I am, or that I need to just get a life and quit worrying about such nonsense.  I also haven’t been called ‘un-American and un-Patriotic.’  This is new for me.  I’m not used to other people knowing what’s going on in our own country or the world.  And as happy as that does make me feel.  I’m also saddened because I liked being in that top group that was aware and educated in the going’s on while everyone else was ignorant of facts and figures.

But, as happy as I truly am that finally the American people are awake and becoming aware of our government and the republican party for their role in how we got here, is there really anything that can be done about it?  I mean, when something finally becomes obvious to the people then it’s too late to do anything about it.  The time to squash it is before it gets to this point.

It’s funny but there are a few people that know that I predicted this at Trump’s Inauguration on January 20, 2017 and are now looking to me as to what we do next?  My answer is that I don’t really know?  I’m into prevention, not reaction.  I try to prevent bad things from happening.  But when the bad thing happens then it’s kind of out of my hands.

I’m happy that American’s are realizing that it is important to participate in our country’s democracy, otherwise we might lose it.  Like what’s happening right now.  But when Trump has the support of almost 75 million people, and Biden has the support of about 82 million, we are a country of 330 million so most of the rest that didn’t vote are children, and illegals and the incarcerated.  We may outnumber the Trump supporters by a few million but it isn’t enough to snuff them all out.  They are going to be around for a long time.  (Unless Covid kills them from their ignorance and lack of taking the virus seriously.)

The thing about the pro-Trump supporters are that they are a cult and cult members will tend to die for their cult leader and do whatever terrible things their cult leader asks of them.  All you have to look at is what happened last Wednesday. 

Those 82 million of us that voted for Biden tend to approach things differently.  We may get angry and upset but we handle things a bit differently than they do.  We write letters, we vote, we speak out, and might I suggest that we now SHUN!

Unless you would like to go toe-to-toe with them and prefer some non-violent ways in snuffing them out, then I would like to offer up a suggestion that we just try shunning them.  You know that Trump supporting neighbor that you are friendly with ‘just to be neighborly?’  Well, quit being neighborly.  You know that rotten step-brother of yours that sends out all that pro-Trump baloney that you follow on Facebook just to be nice?  UN-FOLLOW HIM!

Don’t allow them into the mainstream.  They don’t belong with us.

  I believe in freedom of speech, but I do not believe in freedom of hate speech.

If you think that by still knowing them that some of your good qualities might rub off on them, then you are stupid.  You are not dealing with a rational person.  You are dealing with a cult member.  And besides, if they can’t convince you of their belief then why do you think they will listen to you?

One reason that we are at this point in our history is because there were so many American people that just went along, choosing ignorance over knowledge.  Not getting involved in politics because it’s just so unpleasant.  Yes, it can be very unpleasant, but you do see where we are now?  This is even more unpleasant.

  There are more of us than there is of them, that is saying something.  But when they speak they are just louder and more forceful.  Kind of like having 100 people on a train together.  You may not like the person you are sitting next to and they probably don’t like you either but the two of you aren’t at each other’s throats over it.  Everyone is sitting in their seat minding their business when along comes some loud drunk getting on the train and then insulting some people that he doesn’t like the look of.  Perhaps even bumping into some other people on purpose trying to get them upset.  And then before you know it some people join in with him in insulting others.  There will be a few brave individuals that will come of the aid of those that are being harassed, but most will just sit there because they don’t want to get involved.  They either don’t care to or perhaps they secretly like what is happening?

We will always have those obnoxious individuals that love to cause trouble but that doesn’t mean we have to join in with them?  Or worse, just go along.  Those are the worst people because they know better.  When you see a wrong and you do nothing or say nothing, then you are complicit.  Perhaps you can’t personally intervene but you can go for help you know?  There are several ways that you can help without some confrontation.  All I’m asking is for you to try?

The Hunger Games movies were on T.V. last night and I did watch them here and there.  I’ve seen them all in the past and they are very good movies.  I don’t like the subject content but they are very good.  Well, as I watched the movies I was watching them through new eyes.  They were just different somehow now.  I think that because of what has happened with the Capital siege I am a different person now.  I used to always see life in grey.  I recognize that each and every one of us has good and bad inside.  Some people have more good than bad.  And some people have more bad than good.  But now after what has happened and we just have 2 sides to choose from, I only see life in Black and White.  Not caucasian and African-American, but actual black and white as in good or bad, right or wrong, black and white.  There is really no middle now.  You have to choose a side and hopefully it will be a non-violent side.  There is no going along anymore.  Not if you care about our democracy.

I believe that things will get worse. 

If you really want to know my next prediction?  WORSE!  And why do I think things will get worse?  Because I recognize the blueprint.



January 7, 2021

Message From My Brother Johnny

(My brother Johnny is 8 years younger than me.  He lives in Ireland with his partner Sabina and their daughter Vivien.  He also has two wonderful girls from a previous marriage to an Irish National.  Johnny graduated from The London School of Economics, and has a degree in Political Science and he minored in German.  Every major political or economic event that happens my brother has predicted it sometimes years in advance so I listen to him with he speaks.  This is what he messaged me today……)


9:36 AM

Sadly, I won’t either,





I am from Rome, Georgia

I am a Roman of Floyd County

(Although I cannot vote in Georgia as I am a Florida resident.)

January 5, 2021

Georgia Election Night

A Conversation Between My Brother Johnny Who Lives In Ireland, and Me via Twitter

(Johnny was born in Dahlonega but last lived in Savannah, Georgia.  Therefore, he is a legal resident of the State of Georgia.)


Our Conversation

(I had sent him photos of the DIY projects that Gordon and I were doing in our kitchen.)


5:15 PM


6:11 PM
6:16 PM
6:24 PM
6:34 PM
6:38 PM
7:01 PM
7:14 PM
7:17 PM
7:21 PM
7:28 PM
7:32 PM


Julie Barefoot Mask and Sun Glasses

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Barefoot Beach Teas

Barefoot Beach Teas





Welcome to Barefoot Beach Teas

I got the idea about 3 years ago to create a nice tea and have it look like the beach.  I even thought of putting some sort of seashell candy inside of the tea so that when you came across it you will squeal with delight at finding a pretty sea shell in your very own beach tea.  Hopefully, reminding you of that time long ago when you were on vacation at the beach and finding pretty beachy shell souvenir’s to take home and show your friends.

My original thoughts were to just make one type of tea, a sandy colored tea.  But I then realized that I would like to create a Varie-tea.  🙂  But as I put more thought into it, I realized how great it would be to make several teas and have them look like my most favorite beaches.  For example, here in Florida we have bright white powdered sand.  (Hence, a coconut tea.)  On some of the beaches in Hawaii, where we lived for 13 years, they have sandy colored thick sand beaches, as well as black sand beaches, and there is even some green colored sand beaches.  The black sand being powered volcanic rock on The Big Island and the green sand beach of Papakolea Beach, also located on The Big Island of Hawaii, it’s gets it’s green color from the Olivine sand eroding out of the enclosing volcanic cones. 


At this Barefoot Beach Tea debut I still have a few more teas to add as I get around to it.


Here are my Coral Beach and Sandy Beach Teas

with little Candy Sea Shells.

The Beach in a Jar

How many of you collect sand from the beach when you go on vacation? 

Perhaps placing it into a jar to bring home?  Well, that was my inspiration.


My Sandy Beach Tea

This tea I based on that tall bottle full of sand and shells you see in the photos, top and bottom.  It is the sand that I collected from our beach when we lived in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.  Our home was right across the street from the beach.  Granted, there was a Marine barracks blocking our view of the beach but, we would walk a block away and enter our beach from there.  I collected that sand in several bottles to bring with us when we moved back to The Mainland.

I Decorated the Jars With Shell Stickers

This is a Ginger Tea, Meant to be Consumed Hot


Coral Beach Tea

Based on a Lovely Pinkish Coral Beach

This Tea is Meant to be Consumed Cold


My Old Beach Diary and Classic Shades, Along with my Sandy Beach Tea

Our Sandy Beach Tea is a very Healthy Ginger Tea

(I gave this gift along with some Ginger Cookies.)

I like the presentation of the teas with the jars upside down so that you can see the candy sea shells on the “beach.”

Just place 1, 2, or 3 teaspoons of tea per 8 ounces of water. 

The ratio’s are up to you and your personal tastes.

If you find you would prefer them sweeter then add more sugar.  But I do ask that you learn to enjoy them as they are and not loaded with sugar.  Besides, lots of sugar makes you stupid and we are surrounded with sugar in all of our foods and beverages as it is. 

So, let’s try to enjoy something that is not as sweet.


Welcome to Cocoa Beach

Think Fancy Organic Hot Chocolate

I decorated the jar lids with some beach glass that I found in Hawaii.  Candy sea shells inside, but I also do like to give this tea as a gift with some coconut cookies and mini marshmallows.

This is a Healthy Hot Chocolate


Our Russian Tea

(On top of Brodie’s old I SPY Sand Castle Puzzle that I found in our Garage)

This recipe goes back to when Gordon was 11 years old and attended his very first square dance in Charlotte, North Carolina, along with his brother Jeff, and sister Heather.  A lady was serving Russian Tea and Gordon loved it so much he asked her for the recipe and she gave it to him.  It’s been a Whann tradition ever since.

Enhancing our Russian Tea with some Nautical Rope and Knots

Lovely Gift of Tea


Some of the Ingredients We Used


The Beginnings of Making the Teas

(I wanted to include my star fish bowl and some of my shells.)

When it came to the making of these teas I pretty much had it in my mind the ingredients that I wanted to use, I just didn’t know how they would taste together?  But, that was the fun part.  Putting the ingredients together and coming up with something that passed the taste test, but that was also healthy. 

In this Covid 19/Cold and Flu Season I wanted these teas to be something that would help to heal the sick.  Sooth that sore throat.  Give that boost to the immune system.  And not necessarily give in to your sweet tooth cravings.  For these teas are more about your health than your sweet pleasures.

Organic Ginger Powder, Organic Cocoa, Cocoa, Organic Acai Powder, Powdered Sugar, Coconut Water Powder, Watermelon Powder Tea, and Organic Pomegranate Powder

Organic Maca in Photo Top Right


The Powdered Pomegranate tends to harden quite quickly when exposed to air. 

Remember that.

You will need lots of clean jars and lids.  We washed the jars in the dishwasher but didn’t touch the insides.  I did hand wash the jar lids and seals by hand and let them dry. 


Welcome to Sandy Beach


3 Cups Powdered Ginger

(If you aren’t a big fan of Ginger then you may want to reduce the amount here.)

2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar

3 Cups Unsweetened Tea

3 Cups Sweet Tea

2 Cups Organic Maca



Ignore the dry milk in the photo left, that didn’t go into this tea but the Nestea Sweet Iced Tea did.

Nestea Unsweetened Iced Tea

Organic Powdered Ginger

Just place all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl…..

…then TASTE.

Here we are adding a bit more of this, and a bit more of that….


Adding the Confectioner’s Sugar….

I wanted to use Confectioner’s Sugar in these teas because I thought it would add to the texture.


Now place the Tea into the jars…….

And add a few Sea Shell Chocolates.

You don’t have to place the shell chocolates into the hot tea when you make it.

You can just snack on them as you find one.


Spooky and Sparky

Cute Sleepy Doggy Break


Welcome to Coral Beach

(I wanted this tea to be consumed iced cold on a hot day.)



7 Cups Powdered Coconut Water

3 Cups Watermelon Tea

3 1/2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar

1 Cup Organic Pomegranate Powder

1 Cup Dry Milk


Making The Coral Beach Tea


Photo left:  Our Organic Coconut Powder and Watermelon Tea.

Photo right:  Our Confectioner’s Sugar and our Organic Pomegranate Powder

Combining all of the Ingredients to a Large Mixing Bowl

This Organic Coconut Powder was Wonderful!

This is an ingredient that we would like to see how we can use it in other recipes.

The Organic Pomegranate Powder Dries Fast so add to Recipe Quickly

Adding Our Watermelon Tea

Powdered Milk helped to make this recipe a bit creamy. 

I also recommend keeping Dry Milk in your pantry.  It has come in handy quite a few times during our self-isolation when we would run out of fresh milk.



Adding our Confectioner’s Sugar

Stir to Combine….

Time for a Taste Test

Then When Satisfied…

Time to Place into Jars and add the Candy Shells


Making Our Organic Cocoa Beach Tea

This is a Healthy Organic Hot Chocolate

We topped the jars with some Candy Shells and some Shredded Coconut.

Everything Ready to Make This Tea


Organic Cocoa and Acai Powders

This Acai Powder has so many health benefits. 

Gordon and I need to find other ways that we can consume it in the future.


7 Cups Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Acai Powder

2 Cups Confectioner’s Sugar

2 Cups Organic Cocoa Powder

3 Cups Powdered Milk

3 1/2 Cups Powdered Coconut Water

5 Cups Granulated Sugar


Combining All of Our Ingredients into a Large Mixing Bowl

We did use a combination of Organic Cocoa Powder as well as regular Cocoa Powder.



The Confectioner’s Sugar


The Last of our Powdered Coconut Water Being Added