at long last…

WOW! Have I been on hiatus or what?

With the advent of 2013 I’ve been out foraging through the forests of life, overturning any rock or fallen limb searching for…change.

Rather than stagnate doing the same old, same old, I’ve been giving my cozy, little world the once over. Until I ventured forth outside the boundaries of my old skin…I didn’t realize how glazed over my eyes had become.

It happens…over time.

I liken it to putting on my new eye glasses from Costco last week.

Deutsch: Blaue Brille, eingeklappt.

Deutsch: Blaue Brille, eingeklappt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lifting the jazzy, hip eggplant-colored frames to my eyes for the first time I nearly toppled over.

It’d been a few years since I’d updated my prescription. Everything in the retail warehouse seemed to fly at me. The friendly sales clerk advised me to walk around…get comfy with my new look.

Happily, I’m finally settling in with the new and improved me.

My vision is crisper, and my life is catching up slowly, but surely.

I’m getting the hang of French…”Je m’appelle…hugmamma. …Comment t’appelles – tu?” Just when classes are winding down.

Aaahhh…but there’s always French 2.

Juice

Juice (Photo credit: hepp)

Hubby and I are juice fanatics now. Best way to incorporate lots of fruits and veggies. Besides chewing them, we’re now swallowing them as well.

I recommend Bed, Bath and Beyond‘s NUTRI-BULLET. Lots less fuss and muss than those mega-juicers.

Pilates almost did me in. Two privates with a lovely instructor nearly had me in traction.

Five visits to the chiropractor reintroduced me to my old body. Aches and pains that were like old friends…minor by comparison to what I’d endured after a couple of sessions on the reformer.

One 9:30 morning yoga class…an hour’s drive away…was enough to convince me that I couldn’t make it last long term.

So I’m stretching and walking…stretching and walking…stretching and walking.

I made it to 8 out of 10 Creative Writing classes. The folks were lovely, their stories compelling, but I didn’t derive much personally. So I’ll not be returning.

88/365 New Smart Phone

88/365 New Smart Phone (Photo credit: Theophilus Photography)

Instead, I might try a class to learn how to do more with my Smart Phone.

I can dial up friends and loved ones. I can text them. I can check voice mail and emails. I can take photos and view them. I can barely use Tango which allows me to see the person with whom I’m talking.

But it’s the APPS! I’d like to tap into those little gems. Wonders of this advanced social network world in which we live.

We all know…YOU SNOOZE…YOU LOSE!!!

…embrace change!…if i can do it…so can you…

tango dansen op het Spuiplein

tango dansen op het Spuiplein (Photo credit: Gerard Stolk (marche vers Pâques ))

………hugmamma. 

why?…the big C

When you least expect it, life can turn on a dime.

I currently know 2 people who are battling cancer. One, a friend’s father who is losing his fight with recurring melanoma. The other, a dear brother-in-law who learned he has follicular lymphoma…an incurable cancer.

LYMPH NODES-SPLEEN: SPLENIC INVOLVEMENT BY FOL...

LYMPH NODES-SPLEEN: SPLENIC INVOLVEMENT BY FOLLICULAR LYMPHOMA This illustration depicts the classic appearance of spleen involved by follicular lymphoma, namely the presence of discrete, miliary, small, white “pearly” nodules throughout the whole parenchyma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m having difficulty wrapping my brain around both cases. In fact, I feel mentally claustrophobic unable to break away from the constant flow of negative thoughts.

How? A recurring question…with no answer.

There’s no definitive reason why someone is stricken with cancer.

Yes, one’s lifestyle can be scrutinized.

Do you smoke? Or do you live with smokers? You know…second-hand smoke.

Do you inhale red meat? Or feast on fast foods 24/7?

Have you harvested the minimum amount of fruits and veggies? Or are you anti-vegetarian to the point of gagging at the mere mention of…rabbit food?

Exercise? Not your cup of tea? Couch potato more your style?

Alcoholic? Drug Addict? Sex addict?

Do you believe…in God? Or do you thumb your nose every chance you get?

Are you sleep-deprived? Or stressed out all the time?

Are you selfish? Or selfless. Volunteering and getting high on altruism?

Smiley faces? Or frowney faces? What’s your reset button?

Is depression dragging you down?

And in our hysterical, political climate being a bluebird or a cardinal might infect the healthiest body with cancerous cells.

My brother-in-law is an admirable specimen. Everything in moderation…except when it comes to compassion…and hope.

He eats well, drinks in moderation, surfs and takes walks, is religious where it counts…in everyday life, has never smoked, and doesn’t hesitate to help others. I’ve no idea his political persuasion because he’s not one to grandstand.

He makes me laugh. Gigantic belly laughs. From the moment we embrace hello…the jokes fly. We are so in sync that we could be a comedic act. My daughter has often remarked how her uncle and I don’t even pause to think about our comebacks. And those who are with us can’t help but be swept along in our insane garble. Our mother-in-law was one of our biggest fans. God bless her soul…we were both huge fans of hers as well.

One look at my sister-in-law, his wife of many years..confirms their deep and abiding love.

So how does it happen? Cancer.

I’ve no idea. But I’m involving myself in my brother-in-law’s fight without being asked. I’m hanging out my shingle…“hugmamma, m.d.” I’ve already done some Googling on follicular lymphoma and texted my sister-in-law the information I found.

As I await instructions…I send my love and prayers and mountains of laughs…to a brother-in-law…

…who’s always been…like my brother…

………hugmamma.