living her best life…#31


Was just reminded I missed sending out hugs to one and all. And yet it’s never too late for…

HUGS…ALL…AROUND!!! February 2011 00053Pat reminded me of my oversight when she emailed the following.

To update you on our Valentine Day’s weekend…

The power surge during the storm killed our TV. So in the afternoon, under sunny skies…you know our Hawaiian weather, bad one minute, glorious the next…we went to Best Buy to get a new one. Stopped by W&M Burger in Kaimuki on the way home. It took me a while but I managed to eat a Royal Burger. Do you remember that place? [Hugmamma here: No, I don’t, but you’re making me “ono” for one…with all the fixins’!]

We watched Maleficent later that night and I loved it! I especially liked the idea that “true love” exists between a child and a parent. I realize Maleficent wasn’t Aurora’s mother…but she acted as though she was because of how she doted on Aurora.

Didn’t do anything special for Valentine’s Day. Just had take out from Zippy’s. Ate something from the fridge instead.

Sunday afternoon friends from our son’s soccer team stopped by with dinner. They visited for a while which was really nice. After they left we heated up the food they brought for us…squash soup…chicken/eggplant stir fry…Chinese style veggies and long rice. All yummy!

That night we packed up a futon and blankets and went to Sandy Beach. 

Sat in the back of Brad’s truck.

I drank hot chocolate; he had coffee.

We looked up at the heavens…and watched the stars.

Lots of shore fishermen were out that night.

After the storm the previous day, Sunday was calm and clear.

On Monday we met Brad’s friends for a picnic and some shore line fishing. 

Brad caught one Oio. That was about it. He gave it to a family fishing a little ways down from where we were.

His friends brought tons of food. The aromas coming from food cooking on the hibachi smelled so good! I made sure to bring something I could eat…including leftover squash soup.

Later when we arrived home…WOW!!!…we found a cooler full of food in our garage. Thanks to Brad’s sister.

Today, Tuesday, I was back at work. Boy! Was my in-tray full!

Didn’t have to cook dinner tonight since we still had a bunch of leftovers.

Checked my blood test results. Everything still looks good. And if I’m reading my numbers right, some of them may have gone up.

Tomorrow is the first day of the second cycle of my chemotherapy treatment.

Oh! And they changed my meds from capsules to tablets which melt more easily in water. No more trying to swallow the gummy, outer coating of the capsules. Yuck! Should be lots quicker to take. Won’t taste better, but at least I won’t be in the bathroom for half-an-hour.

That’s it for now. Until next time…

…love to you, your family…

…and all my well-wishers!

………pat…and hugmamma.

living her best life…#30

We all have moments of reflection. Although most of us never need to contemplate…living with cancer, day in and day out.

Reading Pat’s thoughts on how she deals with her “new normal,” is humbling. I’m less likely to think about what ails me.

Hi [hugmamma],

Haven’t emailed in a while, so I’m glad we got to talk last week.

I realized I’ve been putting off emailing about my last treatment.

For some reason I feel compelled to record something each time…be it good or bad. So I must do this before I forget how I felt last week.

Treatment went as well as the three previous ones.

Had a different nurse, Etta. She was young and pretty like Tara, and just as attentive. 

My appointment was earlier than usual. That seemed to make a big difference. It was crowded! Patients occupied every chair. 

I was struck by the fact that so many people are fighting cancer. It was more than a little disconcerting.

My chair was in a sunny corner of the room.

As in the past, I was in and out while those who were there before me were still being treated when I got up to leave.

I realized that being there for some time, meant some of the patients had to haul their IVs along with them when they visited the bathroom. Some brought snacks or meals. Whether or not they could keep from upchucking their food was another matter.

It seemed to me I was the youngest patient. Or maybe it just felt that way…

More than that I felt rather fortunate not to have suffered any serious side effects. I haven’t lost my hair, or my appetite. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit more tired and achy, but really…I have NOTHING to complain about.

It’s weird, but I’ve been feeling a bit guilty. Especially when I think about folks I know who had a really difficult time while undergoing cancer treatment. I was warned as to how awful it would be, and what all they had to endure. Truthfully…I have yet to deal with any of that.

I know it’s still relatively early in my treatment process, but I thank God every day.  After all…every day…is another day. And that’s a good thing.

I’ll remember that, should I have a bad day.

Thinking about last week’s treatment leaves me teary-eyed, but it’s something I had to get off my chest…feeling guilty.

So thank you for being my sounding board. I’ve said it before.

It does help.

…love you always…pat.

…love you more…



“A Correction, From Carlton to Carleton”

…an inspiration for those of us who hope to write forever…

98 Years Old and Still Writing: Okie's Poems


An experience Okie had, while in her 80’s.
(Okie is now 96 years old)
Okie prefers that her writing be shown and read in her own handwriting
(a typed up copy is far below, for those with smaller computer screens)



Okie, changing road sign from Carlton to Carleon

Okie changing the road sign


Note added by Kathy: the post on that road sign was unusually high, probably so that the snow plow drivers could see over larger snow banks that get very high at that intersection. The sign post was much higher than normal road signs!….all the more remarkable to even have a tall enough ladder  and THEN to actually climb that high on it…particularly for a person in her 80’s.


Carleton Road Sanbornton NH


 here’s a computer created graphic, superimposed on a photo of CARLETON Rd.

Okie Carleton Road sign 4


A typed up copy of Okie’s writing, in case people are viewing on smaller computer monitors

Carleton Road, Meredith NH, changing the road sign


Has anyone noticed…

View original post 34 more words

changing things up…2013

Now that a dusting of snow has settled upon us like a wintry blanket, and holiday memories fade into the background, the time has come to think of new beginnings.

Of course some things never change. We can only hope to manage them better. Such as the arthritis in my lower back and at the base of my right thumb.

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarenc...

Travers in his most memorable role, as Clarence Odbody in It’s a Wonderful Life (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s about aging gracefully…until “a bell rings”…and this broad’s wonderful life becomes…heavenly. I’m thinking of George’s guardian angel, Clarence, of “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Having saved George from committing suicide, Clarence is finally awarded his wings.

I’ve so much more of life to sample. Older age is not…a death knell.

However doing nothing to revitalize ourselves can deprive us of sunshine and passion. And I’m not referring to citrus fruits. Although I’m hell-bent on downing more of them each week.

Promises! Promises!

With the advent of the New Year, however, I have kept one long-standing resolution.

I’ve gone back to college! Who’d have thought?!?

Yesterday was my first Creative Writing class.

I must admit to being slightly intimidated, uncertain as to the level of writers I’d encounter. Fortunately I met a fellow classmate in the hallway prior to entering the room. She calmed my nerves considerably.

A fixture in the class for 15 years, 74 year-old Gail assured me that I would be nurtured, not judged, by our instructor Doris and the other students.

Two hours flew by, unlike my younger years in a classroom. I can remember watching the clock in those days, willing its hands to pick up speed.

Interesting how age reverses our perception of things.

Listening to others read what they’d written, was akin to feeling the rush of cold, fresh air bursting through unlatched windows.

Yanna, a musician, wrote the most soulful piece about her beloved dog, the surrogate child unto whom she pours all her pent-up, maternal feelings.

Helen, who recently returned from visiting her native South Africa, shared intimate memories of a 95 year-old friend who died. Through Helen’s writing, we came to know a woman whose life had resembled a precious gem…preserved in its natural beauty, not having yet been mined.

I have deep admiration for an 88 year-old who has been Doris’ student for the last 5 years.

Pat is writing her memoirs, hoping to publish them in a book. Her story promises to reveal her family’s hardships and heartaches in the aftermath of their mother’s death, and the subsequent inability of their father to parent.

To write is to tell one’s story. We are all storytellers. We are all writers.

…resolve to write your story…make it your new year’s resolution

………hugmamma.   🙂

elvis…before hollywood

Cover of

Cover of Elvis in the Twilight of Memory

I seemed to speed read right through Elvis-in the twilight of memory by teenage girlfriend June Juanico. I wholeheartedly agree with Publishers Weekly’s assertion that

“(A)fter sordid memoirs almost too numerous to count, comes this refreshingly sweet story of a young, innocent, talented, and devastatingly handsome Elvis and his first girlfriend, Juanico.”

No amount of wishing and hoping on the part of Elvis fans can turn back the hand of time, but it was nice to saunter down memory lane with someone who knew the young Elvis. Through June Juanico’s eyes I caught a glimpse of a normal teenage boy, and all that he had in common with others his age. His natural talent for singing made him special, but otherwise he could pass for one of the guys, albeit a hunk of a specimen. His southern manners made him immensely likeable to young and old, rich and poor, parents and their daughters. But like boys his age, Elvis had a healthy appetite for pretty, young girls, June being one of them.

A full summer of dating, between singing gigs which had him touring the south quite a bit, Elvis and June behaved like any other star-crossed lovers.

A cropped photograph depicts singer Elvis Pres...

Image via Wikipedia

During the summer of 1957, like millions of other girls, June Juanico of Biloxi, Mississippi, fell in love with Elvis Presley. The difference was that Elvis Presley also fell in love with her. Now, forty years after her romance with Elvis, June–once called the “luckiest girl in the world”–takes us back to that magical summer, a last oasis of innocence and fun for the man who would become an American icon. Elvis and June spent the summer fishing, skinny-dipping, going to amusement parks, horseback riding, waterskiing, riding motorcycles–in short, being young and in love. Things got serious enough that Elvis proposed marriage. June accepted, though she knew that his life was moving beyond anyone’s control and that where he was going, no one could follow. In the end, June let Elvis go and went home to Biloxi.

Clear-eyed, courageous, intimate, wise, and most of all loving, June Juanico’s memoir is a treasure not just for fans of Elvis Presley but for anyone who remembers first love, and first heartbreak.

First love and first heartbreak, something with which all of us can identify. And I think it’s true what they say about first love…you never forget it. That relationship, whether realized or not, is stored in our memories seemingly devoid of faults. First love is the one by which all others are measured. As the years pass, we are wont to remember only the good times. The pain and the ache fade into the background, as we wonder “what if?”

elvis prsly

Juanico, though obviously still very much in love with the Elvis she had once known, never expressed her disappointment in marrying someone else. She speaks well of her husband, a handsome, steady man, and lovingly of her children. The product of a broken home, June grew into a self-confident, independent-thinking, respectful young woman, wise beyond her years. With Elvis she spoke her mind, never clung to him, understood the demands of his blossoming career, did not allow jealousy to rule her heart, traded witticisms with Elvis without hesitation. June Juanico was Elvis Presley’s match in every way.

Portrait of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

Image by mharrsch via Flickr

     Singing our songs, we were like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans in the Wild West. I was on top of the world when Elvis told me he didn’t have to leave again for two whole weeks.
     “I reckon you’ll be putting up with me for the next few weeks, Dale. We gotta lotta hard work ahead, gettin’ these here cattle to market and fightin’ off them there cattle rustlers,” Elvis said, sounding more like Gabby than Roy.
     “Don’t fret none, Roy. Me and Trigger’ll be right here by your side ever’ step of the way,” I said, sounding absolutely nothing like Dale Evans.
     Singing and walking through the woods, we stretched the forty-five-minute ride to ninety minutes. Thinking we were lost, one of the guides came to look for us… “That’s enough action for today, gang. Let’s go home and relax,” Elvis said, thanking the horse with a pat on the neck. When he had time to call his own, Elvis was content to sit around and do nothing for days at a stretch.
     In the beginning he had been excited about his upcoming Florida tour. …”I’m gonna miss you, baby. I hate to think about being away from you for so long,” he said, holding me close. …His tour of Florida was due to last ten days, and after that he had to report to Hollywood to begin work on his first movie. Florida didn’t seem all that far, but California was on the other side of the world as far as I was concerned.
     “I’ll miss you too, Elvis. I don’t know what I’ll do without you.” I was close to tears.”
     “If I could only figure out a way to hide you from Colonel Parker, you could go with me. Let me see what I can work out. Do you think your mother would let you go?” he asked, apparently thinking out loud.
     “Me? Go to Florida with you? I’d love to, but I doubt if my mother would let me.”
     “I’m not worried about your mother, baby. I’m sure I could convince her. It’s the Colonel–he’s already told me about seeing too much of you. He’ll shit a brick if he sees you in Florida. I’ll think of something. I’ll figure out a way,” he said, assuring me with a kiss.

Low-resolution reproduction of poster for the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Fortunately, or unfortunately, Colonel Tom Parker and Hollywood came calling….and Elvis’s fame skyrocketed him from the back woods of Memphis, like a reluctant bat out of h–l. It seems he left the real person behind, becoming a shadow of his former self. But did he really have a choice?

The pink and green typography of Elvis Presley...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes turning the page in one’s life story means you can never go back…to the way things were. It seems June Juanico understood that…and accepted elvis presley’s new life…as fact. But it didn’t stop her from hanging onto her memories. And perhaps Elvis continued to hang onto his. A relative, Junior Smith, said of June ” ‘she was the kind that wouldn’t take no shit! He’s still looking for another one like her, but it ain’t gonna happen.’ “ And best girlfriend Pat, who’d known Elvis well because she’d been a part of his courtship escapades with June, tried to convince her to go to Memphis to help Elvis. ” ‘I know he’s surrounded by people, June, but do they understand Elvis the way you do? Do they really care enough? You know how Elvis can be when someone tells him something he doesn’t want to hear. But he’ll listen to you, June. He always did.’ “

“If in the twilight of memory
we should meet once more,
we shall speak again together
and you shall sing to me a deeper song.”
                                            The Prophet
                                             Kahlil Gibran

The '68 Comeback Special produced

Image via Wikipedia

…a book given to elvis by june…which he called his “unwinder”…never traveling without it…calling it his favorite read…hugmamma.

365 photo challenge: publisher

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. My first attempt at putting a piece of writing “out there,” is occurring within a few days.

Author B. C. Young has given me the opportunity to publish a story on his blog, “The Time Capsule.” You might say, Mr. Young is my first publisher. His inquiry came after I posted his interview on my blog about self-publishing. Grateful that he would promote something I’d written, I’m encouraged to add to, and eventually finish the piece, whether as a short story or a novel.

I invite you to visit his blog at over the next few days in anticipation of my piece, “A Long-Held Secret.” Of course I’ll alert you when Mr. Young advises that he’s published my work. He enjoyed my piece; I’m hoping you will as well. I look forward to reading comments you leave on his blog.

hoping you agree with b.c. young…hugmamma. 

“living la vida gay,” ricky martin

In his “heyday” Ricky Martin was hot, hot, hot! Then he disappeared. What was that all about? Years passed, and I forgot all about him. Seems he had a lot to figure out in his personal life. He’s gay. Now I understand. “Living la vida loca,” with guys might not sell records to straight audiences, or so he thought. It might have made me think “aw shucks,” but a singer who’s got great vocals and a ripped body, and moves as Martin does, needn’t have worried about me liking him as an entertainer. I move to the beat, regardless of someone’s sexual preference.

Upset that Barbara Walters asked if he was gay on national television the night of the Academy Awards, Ricky Martin sidestepped the question. He wasn’t “ready” to deal with the unrelenting attention the mass media would heap upon him if he “came out.” He chose to pick the moment, when he was ready to reveal the truth. Martin was still evolving into the gay man he has proudly proclaimed himself to be, today. When his mom hugged him after only taking a minute to digest his news, he knew it was time to tell everyonelse. So he wrote his memoirs.

“Ricky Martin: ME” was the platform from which Oprah interviewed him on her talk show today. In his autobiography, he told all, including his having been bisexual before determining that, in fact, he was gay. He’d had passionate romances with women, but one serious relationship with a man, for whom he would have sacrificed everything, convinced him he was gay. Older, perhaps wiser, the man refused to let Martin give up what he was obviously meant to do, entertain crowds who loved him. The singer decided his partner was not as enamored of him, as he was of the man. At the time Martin was 22.

His new love these days? Actually there are two. A surrogate was engaged to give Ricky Martin children, twin boys, as it turned out. Watching him parent the youngsters on a video, probably had women in the audience, and viewers on TV, wishing he were straight. There was no mistaking that Martin is an awesome, “hands-on” father. He changed diapers, he played “pat-a-cake,” he served up breakfast, he rode a bike, carting the twins behind in a special contraption, and he’s teaching his boys to speak Spanish. The luckiest woman in Martin’s world right now? His mom, for she’s got his heart, and the hearts of 2 precious grandsons.

Evidently, Ricky Martin’s celebrity status was a powerful catalyst in moving ordinary men to “own” their gay-ness. A man flown in by Oprah to be part of the audience, explained how the revelation convinced his own Hispanic mom to ask her son questions about his lifestyle, something she hadn’t done when first learning that he was gay. Standing at his side, for all the world to see, she shared a hug, and kiss on the cheek with her son.

While Martin is a proponent of gays professing themselves to the public in their own time, Oprah supports all gays stepping out together in a powerful show of support for one another. Admirable of her to suggest it, another thing for those affected, to do so, and face retaliation, each on his own turf, in his home, in his school, in his office, in his church, in the military, in sports, among his friends, in society.

What do you think?

hugs for ricky martin…still hot!…hugmamma.