The Year is Half Over

It’s hard to believe how fast the year is going, how little I’ve been posting, and how much there actually is to talk about. I don’t even know where to begin.

Well…. gotta start somewhere. In my last post (or the 1st post of 2022), I introduced our newest little bundle of floofy bunny love to the house, Rey.

Rey is now a little over 5 months old. I had mentioned about how much Fizz seems to love Rey. That is true. Fizz loves her little kid sister. Fizz wants to play with Rey. Fizz sits near Rey. Fizz just wants nothing but to be around Rey.

So why are they separated?

Well…… spoiler alert– introducing rabbits to each other is brutal. Please, by all means, put a mare out into a herd of cryptorchids. I promise, it will be an easier time.

Rey is absolutely vicious towards Fizz. They’ve had a few accidental moments of interaction, when Rey has slipped through the gate or for whatever reason, they’ve occupied the same moment of spacetime, and it has not gone well at all. My hand still has an indent from where I picked Rey up by her teeth when she lunged for Fizz and in my effort to protect Fizz from injury, I ended up with a 1.5 lb bundle of fuzzy teeth hanging off my hand. Yea, that happened.

Rey, for being so small, has been nothing but hyper aggressive and dominant towards Fizz. There has been 0 sucess even letting them sniff through the fencing. Rey will try to bite and attack Fizz through the smallest crack.

We don’t want Fizz getting hurt, so they are separated.

Rey is almost 6 months old so we will have her spayed as soon as she hits that birthday. Spaying will help (we hope) calm her down, stop inappropriate urination and hopefully curb this aggression. Otherwise, she’s the sweetest little love bug.

Both bunnies want to be around us and run around the house and play. They just can’t do it together. Like at all. Fingers crossed there. eeek.

In other news, Jesse is doing fantastic. He had all of his incisors (12) and 1 loose molar removed on 12/15/2021 due to EOTRH. He recovered perfectly and I haven’t had a problem with him since. He is even driving bitless these days.

This summer, we are apparently re-visiting his mystery malady from last year, but far less severe, thankfully. Still, every allergy treatment from scrubs to ointments to medications and supplements have not helped at all. He’s been treated for mites, parasites, infection, fungus, and basically every allergen. He’s so itchy! He rubbed out some of his tail head, most of the hair on his chest, and some under his mane. We’ve been trying new meds almost every 2 weeks to see if anything helps. If anyone has suggestions, I’d love to know.

Happily otherwise, he is healthy, fat, and still just a blast to drive out on the trails. Of course, at age 26, and me… not at age 26 (tee hee) and with a back that barely works…. who knows how many more drives are in our future. Every time I take him out, I think, this could be our last. I’m too broken, and he’s getting old. But so far, I’ve still managed to eek out another drive.

And speaking of DRIVE….. I’ve been a bit hellbent on getting a new car recently. Sometime late last year, I decided I wanted to get a new SUV in the spring. There were several issues relating to me getting one… for one, half our garage is full of someone else’s belongings (super long story there), employment security (long story there), and well… just the flat out cost of a new SUV. Have you ever priced out a brand new Jeep Grand Cherokee. Eeeep.

Well, after months of looking, and MONTHS, and I do mean months, of working on cleaning out the garage, causing much family strife (long story), I did end up finding a beautiful new(ish) SUV that I fell in love with. Right after Covid started in 2020, we test drove a couple cars just for the heck of it. My husband wanted something new, and I got the chance to play around with a few SUV’s.

One of the ones I drove was a Kia Seltos. It was brand new, and it was $30,000. Waaaaaayyyyy too expensive coming from someone who’s never bought more than a $14,000 vehicle ever.

Eventually, my husband ended up with a brand new Elantra with 0 miles on it. He’s had a year, and it still only has about 1200 miles on it, lol. Working from home is a charmer.

About a month ago, I found a Kia Seltos that I thought I could almost afford. With trade-in values being basically the highest they’ve ever been, and the Seltos prices being so high, I figured this was a good time to get a great value on my Kia Rio and upgrade.

I absolutely love the Seltos. I did get it used, it’s a 2021. But it has low miles, and is warranteed for 11 years to come, so I’m thrilled. For the money this vehicle cost; it better last me the next 20 years. I have only just sent through my first payment, and I already can’t wait for it to be paid off so I have that money every month LOL!

I have 0 intentions of getting another new car anytime soon, but if and when I do, it will absolutely be another SUV. After having Jeep GC’s most of my driving life, and my big V8 GMC Envoy I used to haul Luke and Jesse around to shows, I just can’t go back to another sedan or coupe again.

And, on another fun topic; we are getting close to our big big big trip!

My husband is an amazing person. He’s smart, adventurous, and spontaneous, not to mention loving and passionate with a heart of solid platinum (way better than gold, lol!).

So last March when we were looking forward to our trip to Jamaica at the end of the year, somehow or other, we got to talking about what other trips we might like to take.

We have a huge bucket list already. Ironically, most of the places on our bucket list (which is a literal physical list I painted and hangs on the wall), are not places we’ve actually been making travel plans to go visit. So bucket list #2 was born, to accommodate all the new places we have plans to go.

Usually people dream of where they want to travel, and those places are their bucket list. Through literally years of slow and steady saving and payments, my husband and I are getting to travel to dream places that we actually never imagined going to before. Ever.

The “big trip” for me that I wanted to do was take a cruise to the Bahamas. We did that back in 2019, and he proposed to me on that cruise.

Besides engaged… we also got SO SEASICK on it, we decided basically cruising was not for us, and we would never cruise again.

So naturally, we then decided in 2021 to book a 14 night – yes…. 14 night— cruise to Europe. Because… yea.

So this amazing trip, which we’ve been diligently paying on for almost 2 years already, is coming! We are less than 290 days away, and we can’t wait.

J’apprende le Francaise pour cette vacances.

Look at that! 3 of our destinations on this cruise are to French speaking locations, Halifax, St. Pierre & Miquelon (which are French territories) and actual France France. We plan to hit up Paris during our day trip there, and if the time allotment is just right, we hope to see the Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, and a smaller version of the Staute of Liberty just a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower.

And I’ve been learning French slowly since March 2021. I definitely do not feel confident in my speaking (or understanding spoken conversation) skills at this point, but I do feel comfortable reading & writing French, and I think we can probably navigate the French metro pretty well to get around Paris. I’m not sure if there’s going to be a lot of English signs around to help us, although I’m sure there will be; it’s still nice to have a bit of a back up of understanding the French language a bit.

Now, as if that one trip just isn’t enough… because why would it ever be? Each trip might be Once in a Lifetime, but it’s OK to have more than 1 trip in a lifetime …. we are planning and saving for another trip, and another and another…

2023- Transatlanic cruise to Europe – highlights include spending the night in Iceland where we will hopefully see the Nothern Lights. Visiting Belfast and seeing the Harland and Wolff Shipyards and the Belfast Titanic museum!!!!! And Paris. Amazing. So amazing. Our ship is actually taking a route that goes just a bit more north of where the Titanic lies at the bottom of the ocean, and the ship itself is nearly the same width and length as the Titanic, just taller.

2024…. well, our big trip for 2024, which will take every bit of the 3 full years we will have been saving for it by the time we go, needs no introduction:

Both of us has always wanted to go to Disney. We decided to pull the trigger on it, and make it happen. We’re going to do it once… and once only. Truly a once in a lifetime trip for sure…. and it’s more expensive than that cruise in 2023.

We plan to stay for a full week, and we will be staying part of the week in Animal Kingdom facing the Savannah…. it’s as close to Africa as I’ll probably ever get, lol. No, we are not staying in the 2 day immersive experience Star Wars Hotel. Because… $5,000… that’s why. $5,000 for 2 nights. Disney – you nuts.

However, 6 full nights at Disney, park admission to 4 parks for 2 people, high end resort stays, and food… oh the food…. not to mention Genie + passes, the Photo Memory Maker, and all the other expenses will absolutely make Disney the single most expensive vacation we ever even plan on doing in our lives. Period.

Yikes!!

In 2025, we added another check box to the bucket list and are deep into planning a trip to Turks and Caicos. After paying as much as we’ve budgeted for Disney, going to TCI is going to seem cheap!

2026, we have already selected our Costa Rica birding adventure destination. I can not WAIT to go birding in Costa Rica. And the resort we picked is incredible. And that still won’t cost as much as Disney.

Some other bucket list check boxes are a bit more “tame” (and thankfully not quite as expensive). We don’t have plans for any of these yet, but we do want to hit Vegas, Seattle, The Everglades National Park, Alaska, and… oh… 2029 (our 10 year wedding anniversary…) Egypt.

LOTS to plan for, most of it already planned. LOTS to look forward to. Jobs to pay for it all? That remains to be seen…. (long story). New SUV. Check.

2022 itself has been a pretty good year, I must say! Although we aren’t actually planning to take any trips this year, we might go visit my parents for Thanksgiving and bum around Manhattan for a day. I’ve always wanted to see the tree at Rockefeller which is something I’ve never actually done. So hopefully we can have a nice little road trip later this year – and a major sailing early next year!

Now, if somehow we end up a free floating fortune, and could do an epic vacation, I think I would probably want to go to the Jade Mountain Resort in St. Lucia. Google it. Better yet, YouTube it. Jade Mountain. Oh, I would also want to take the $250,000 per person journey to the Titanic, which yes, is actually a thing. Jade Mountain would be considerably cheaper, though. LOL!

Enjoy your travels! What are your travel goals and dream destinations?

2022 Is Off To Quite a Start

I guess I’ve been a little quiet but that’s not for lack of anything happening!

2022 has definitely gotten off to a start for my husband and I; I barely know where to begin!

Our year started with Covid. Shortly after New Years we both fell sick and tested positive. We did get the vaccine due to our international travel to Jamaica for our anniversary. Hubby got over it in about 4 days or so. He just had a sore throat and sniffles.

Me on the other hand… Apparently my immune system is not what it used to be (of course, that said, I haven’t had so much as a cold since 2017). It took me 10 days and several days with a 100+ fever to recover. Ugh.

Thankfully I was able to work remotely. And thankfully for that again because February ended up no better off for me AT ALL.

Jesse and Fizzgig the bunny are doing Wonderful. Thankfully Jesse has no issues at all now at 4 full months since having l of his incisors removed due to EOTRH.

She is the sweetest little love. She brings us so much joy.
My sweet little perfect angel, Jesse. He is so kind and quiet and wonderful to be around. My once stellar little rock star show horse now so gray and toothless!

So one day in February, not long before Valentine’s day, I woke up in pain. Severe pain. Crippling pain like holy sh*t I can’t move and it hurts to breathe pain.

I was sleeping. What the heck happened? Of course me being me, I went on with life. Intense agony level 100.

That weekend, I even did the barn chores. On Valentine’s day itself, I twisted one way and I could barely walk any longer the pain was so severe. Not only was it not getting better, it definitely got worse.

So I finally broke down and contacted my doctor. 5 days of that was enough. Something was very wrong.

Let’s just fast forward to now. March is almost over and the pain *still* exists, though thankfully not as bad it is debilitating. I am in so much pain every moment of the day.

None of the medications, which was a very long saga there, that I won’t bother to get into, has resolved the pain. Large doses of prescription ibuprofen has been the only thing to help alleviate it enough to where I can walk and drive a car again.

So what happened? Well, back problems are nothing new for me. I actually crushed part of my spine when I was very little because I jumped down off a playground structure and landed on my back on the edge of a wooden beam.

I rode horses for 20 years, and all those falls I’m sure did not help. I tend to wear very high heels, like 4-6″ regularly. Also not the most helpful for bad backs.

I had a bulging disc at l4/l5 for many years. I’ve always had back pain, sore muscles

Now, somehow during my sleep, I managed to rupture the disc at l5/s1.

My spinal nerves. You can see the one being crushed right near the bottom of the MRI.

I mean….most people have to move a refrigerator to rupture a disc. The fact that I did it in my sleep is not lost to me.

To make matters worse, the disc has bulged itself right on top of my S1 nerve and it’s just sitting there, stuck.

The crippling pain I had for almost 4 straight weeks was a massive muscle spasm as my body locked itself into a protective move and my muscles were supporting my back. It was brutal.

I had to stop doing the barn chores. By the end of February I could barely walk and was having my husband come help me get the things like hay put out and water filled. I was able to work remotely for my full time job which is great since I couldn’t drive.

Now, almost 8 weeks later, the muscle spasm has stopped so I can breathe easier and not have major pain when coughing.

However, the pain from my nerve is non stop. It’s awful and constant. I actually have loss of strength on my left side. The disc is crushing the nerve on the left. I have some trouble moving my left leg. I can’t bend down, I can’t lift things. I can at least drive a car.

I have moments…maybe hours in a day where I feel pretty good and get optimistic that this is finally ending…..aaaaand then the pain intensifies.

On and on it goes.

I’m trying to avoid surgery so I am currently exhausting every non surgical route there is. Chiropractic, massage, medication, stretches, heat/ice, Epsom salt soaks, I’ve even used a hot tub, and I am looking at accupuncture options.

I can not take the pain, and I find myself struggling with fighting it every day. I now think I am done driving Jesse. Of course he is 26 in a few months anyway so it’s not like he hasn’t earned retirement, but I was looking forward to doing some more bitless driving with him this summer.

But even last year, every bounce over every divet and root on the trails made my back ache after I was done. Now, my back hurts going through a pothole in my car…. I can’t imagine trotting over a bump on a trail in the little EZ Entry cart I have.

My back has nearly completely ended my ability to drive Jesse I’m afraid. Just as it has now stopped me from working at the barn, which I enjoy so much. It’s stopped me from even being able to put my own socks on some days.

Thank God so much for my husband who has helped me in every way possible. He dressed me some days, he literally picked me up when I couldn’t move, and has done all the typical house chores when I just can’t.

It’s been just as challenging on him these last few months I have no doubt. But he has been an angel to me.

So we decided on a bit of a whim to do something….. It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while and just never quite went through with yet.

Well, yesterday, we did.

Welcome to the family Rey.

We have been wanting to get Fizzy a friend for a while, but we were very particular about personality. And after meeting half a dozen bunnies yesterday and finding none of them had the personality we wanted, we found little Rey.

She was just what we wanted out of bunny #2, and she and Fizzgig had a nose to nose meeting through a cage and Fizz absolutely seems to adore Rey.

We are looking forward to getting Rey and Fizz bonded, and get Rey trained and housebroken so they can both be free roaming together in a few months.

Until Rey is spayed, it will be mostly a cage life for her and supervised free time with Fizz, but if day 1 is any indication, these 2 will get along famously!

Rey is an adorable little Holland Lop, and she is tiny! She is smaller than Fizz was when we got her. Rey is about the size of a kiwi fruit right now. It’s like holding a cotton ball with ears!

We can’t wait to watch our 2 bunnies grow together and zoom around the house.

And in other news, I have had several paintings of mine accepted into galleries where hopefully they will sell from there. The gallery owners felt they would sell well. So we will see what happens.

I enjoy painting, but have had little success selling them on my own, so hopefully the galleries will have better luck!

I look forward to maybe making a bit of extra bunny munny lol and seeing my art enjoyed by someone else.

Have a great day…. And hopefully pain free for everyone out there.

The Last Post Of The Year!

Well, it has been a long road. Maybe just as long as 2020, if not in some ways longer, but 2021 is coming to a close. This will be the last post for this year. In a week or so, I will start 2022 with a new post. I might change the format of the blog around some too, I would like to archive the old posts on the right column a bit better, so I need to see if I can figure something out for doing that.

2020 was absolutely crazy.

2021 at least, did allow us some element of normalcy for some of us. While we all heard about variants like Delta and Omicron (pretty soon, they will run out of Greek letters, right?), we did at least have some previously cancelled events take place again. We did at least get to travel.

For us, that meant wonderfully getting to go to DragonCon 2021. Despite having to wear masks, the con was wonderful and the reduced capacity (down from 80,000 to 40,000) was kind of nice.
We went to Universal Orlando, and best of all we did get to travel without issue or interruption to Montego Bay, Jamaica for a beautiful, but entirely too short anniversary vacation.

I definitely wonder what 2022 will bring. It’s rather hard to make a list of goals for 2022 since the last 2 years proved that everything is crazy and up in the air.

I don’t think my husband and I will be doing much travelling in 2022. Not only because we spent a lot on our 2021 trips (lol), but also because we are actually paying/saving for 2 trips – in 2023 and 2024. Yes… we are saving for a 2024 trip already. Where to, you ask, that could be so expensive we need to save for nearly 2 1/2 years to pay for it? Disney. Yes, Disney.

We have always wanted to go to Disney… but man it’s like the most expensive place on the planet, lol! Seriously, for the cost of Disney, we could take a trip around the world. Oh wait, we’re doing that in 2023. Sort of. We are taking a 14 day trip to Europe, so it’s close enough. That’s why Disney has to wait for 2024.

I do want to try to get a new (well, used) vehicle in 2022. And I have a major impending change looming on the horizon that will impact just how much money I actually have for travel. Hoping for the best there. Eeek….

The only other thing we’ve talked about for 2022 is possibly taking a bit of a road trip to visit my folks in PA. There is a convention or 2 we want to attend, but the real question is, will they be cancelled?

Personally, I don’t want to attend any con that requires the use of masks. The one I’m keeping my eye on the most is a Star Trek Con in Chicago in April, but I feel like with the new regulations of having to provide a vaccine card just to get seated in a restaurant, I think the chances of having a large convention, maskless, is out the window. I’d be surprised if the con happens at all.

There’s also C2E2 and Fan Expo (formerly Wizard World) I would like to attend. But again… Chicago stipulations with masks and vaccine cards could be an issue.

We would like to pull a trip to Seattle off in 2022, but that might be a little much with the cruise and Disney on the horizon.

So… for now, my literal 2022 calendar of events on the wall is quite blank.

We have some other events we are planning to attend- a basketball game in Jan, a rodeo in February, and maybe a horse event in April, but I feel like it’s just a waiting game to see if these events will happen or not.

What an odd end to the year 2021.
What a questionable start to the year 2022.

Well, here’s to hoping for the best!

10 Year Anniversary

“This is nothing to worry about.”

Those were the first words I heard. It was early October 2011, and when I found a lump in my thigh, I went to my GP. That’s what I was told.


The lump in my thigh. This is not exactly a small lump. It was about the size of a walnut. Most of the time, they tell you, you are feeling for something deep, pea or blueberry sized… this was big enough to hold in the palm of your hand, and disappeared depending on how my leg was flexed, because it was inside the belly of the sartorious muscle.


It was a lipoma. It was fine. No big deal.

That diagnosis was made after 2 second palpation. Ok Doc, you know best….

A few days later, I happened to be at my OBGyn and since we were already looking for lumps, I said, here’s one. But the GP told me it’s a lipoma, it’s fine.

The OB took a 2 second palpation and looked at me hard.

“Oh this is no lipoma. You need to get your GP to issue an ultrasound to see what this is.”

Oooooo kay…. Call the GP a few days later when they were open again, and request an ultrasound because the OB suggested it.

GP said nope. Totally not necessary.

Buuuut the OB recommended it…..???

Nope. Not necessary.

Call the OB back and say GP denied doing an ultrasound, can you just issue it? OB says no, because it’s out of the scope of her practice. I have to have it done through the GP’s orders.

Call GP back again, and after being told nope nope nope, I pitched a bit of a fit, and insisted and finally got my way.

October 12, 2011… almost a week after the initial GP visit, I get the ultrasound done at the local hospital – and they won’t even let me leave.

Just wait right here, we need to review this immediately. It looks like a massive clot in your femoral artery.

OK, crap… now I’m scared shitless when I hear the words emergency surgery. I called my Dad 900 miles away like he was supposed to do anything about it. I did not call or text my husband at that time.

So, eventually the radiologist comes out and tells me it isn’t some giant balloon in my leg getting ready to explode, and I can go. But I do need an MRI.

The mass on the Ultrasound

Off to work I go, and I call the GP back and explain they had found something on the ultrasound, and I needed an MRI. The report stated the mass was not consistent with lipoma, and recommended an MRI.

Guess what my GP said….?

Nope. Not necessary. It’s just a lipoma. Sometimes hospitals can…. you know… over react, and this was in no way a major issue. It’s just a lipoma, quit worrying.

Worry? You’re damned right I’m worried! I just had a near-emergency surgery experience, and I have both the OB and the hospital radiology department telling me this needs a work up.

Sooooo… I fight back. And I am not exactly the nicest person when it comes to fighting back against men who like to tell me how my life is. I was not pleasant to deal with. I insisted. I demanded. I got on the phone with the GP instead of just relaying everything through the nursing staff. That conversation involved something about a discussion of how expensive MRI’s are…

Excuse me, but I’m not asking you to pay for it. That’s really my problem, isn’t it?”

Sooooo… as a compromise since I was “clearly worried about it” (GP’s words…), he referred me to a plastic surgeon. The point of that was to see if I had any surgical options that wouldn’t leave a scar if I were to have the lipoma removed.

Yes. My GP felt I was too upset by a lipoma in my leg, and didn’t want to ruin how I look in shorts. That was his concern.

Soooooo…. I go to see the PS.

He takes a 2 second feel of this mass in my thigh and says… That’s not a lipoma, and you need an MRI.

Cue in MRI on October 31, 2011. Nearly a full month after I first brought the lump to the attention of my GP, and 19 days after first insisting on an MRI.

The dye injected into me was glowing. The MRI tech showed me the screen. It looked a little something like this.

So, Oct 4, I saw the GP. Oct 9, I saw the OB. Oct 12, I got the ultrasound. Oct 31, I had the MRI.

Then, from there – a whirlwind. Nov 9, I had a biopsy done – a needle biopsy which I declined sedation for because, even though it was recommended, my ex-husband didn’t want to have to wait at the hospital any longer than necessary for me to wake up. He wanted me to be able to leave immediately.

So, I got punched painfully so, through the leg, without sedation, so my ex-husband could be home for dinner.

I swear I don’t know how the hell I got through this experience.

Mind you, my ex-husband, in 2009, was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in the right sinus, at my prompting for him to get his tonsils (and some sinus polyps) out; it was found during the procedure. So, wait… read that again.

My ex-husband, in 2009 was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma behind the right eye, after I prompted him to get his tonsils and nasal polyps out. Subsequently he was diagnosed with one of the rarest types of cancer, and proceeded into a 9 hour surgery to remove the tumors (think… grapes on a vine, of cancer), then 7 weeks of radiation.

I went with him to the hospital; I stayed after surgery, I took him into treatments (not all the time, but sometimes), at the hospital which was over an hour away. I worked full time, cared for the 14 house animals and 4 horses, and basically lost my mind dealing with the stress and his parents and everything that surrounded him being unable to work.

Two years later, I was facing this, and I couldn’t even get sedation for a biopsy so he could be home for dinner after dropping his mother off (who we always had to pick up on the way to Northwestern Memorial in Chicago). Why ? Well, because she would pay of course – gas, parking, meals. She would pay. Besides, did I mention he was not working? Two years later, he was still not working. Why? Because he didn’t want to.

So as if I didn’t have enough on my plate already, Nov 16, I went back to NM to meet with the surgical oncologist and get the final results of this mass.

If you’re keeping track, it’s now been over 6 full weeks from discovering the tumor to getting a diagnosis. The only thing I knew at that point was it was definitely cancer.

I was finally given the report, and it was a Grade III pleomorphic spindle cell soft tissue sarcoma, encapsulated in the belly of the sartorious muscle.

The plan was to completely resect the entire muscle in 1 week.

If you’re also keeping track, 1 week later was Thanksgiving. So, in order to give me family time at home (oh yay…. was that the Thanksgiving my father in law yelled at me for ruining Thanksgiving by having chips at noon, or was that the following year?)… at any rate, my surgery was pushed off to Nov 29, 2011.

It was over 2 full months since I first noticed the painless lump in my leg, and it was a hell of a fight every step of the way to get it diagnosed.

I had a drain, and a large scar, but I had clean margins. I would undergo 35 rounds of radiation as soon as I was healed. But that healing was delayed because they told me I should go back to “normal activities” as soon as possible.

Wellll…. my version of normal activities and every one else’s are apparently quite different. Normal for me, was working 4 horses for hours multiple days a week, working full time, driving a car, shoveling snow (since it was winter), cleaning cat litter, picking up dog poop, taking out the trash… normal for me = not sitting on a sofa. My ex-husband did that all day every day, because, that’s right – he wasn’t working. After all, he did have cancer 2 years before.

So 11/29/2011 was the day I had this tumor removed. That means… it’s my 10 year anniversary!

I ended up injuring myself due to my “normal” activities, which resulted in a 2nd emergency surgery on December 22. I was only discharged because it was Christmas, and I had to promise to actually sit still. (Apparently normal activities for most people include sitting on the sofa, and only getting up to go to the bathroom.)

So here I am, 10 years later, and still NED. Celebrating not only my 10 years cancer free, but 6 years free from my ex-husband, 5 years together with my husband, 2 years married – and they are all November anniversaries.

I can definitely say November turned out to be one special and amazing month. Getting through cancer was not easy. The radiation burned my inner thigh, it melted the skin off my leg. It was my own mini Chernobyl happening on my thigh. I drove myself to radiation, went to work, went to the barn, and cared for the animals at the house as well, for almost all of the 7 weeks in January through February 2012, until I really just could not walk any more due to pain.

I am grateful every day for being healthy, and having clean MRI’s, Xrays, and CT scans over the years. But I will never fully consider myself totally free from the need to check back for an MRI. I’ve been hyper vigilant over the years for anything suspicious, and there will always be a lingering fear of what if’s….

Remember that ex-husband of mine? He died in 2020 of pancreatic cancer. I was shocked to find out, really.

It also made me worry. He lived 11 years post-sarcoma, and ultimately developed another type of cancer all together from which he died.

I’m now celebrating my 10 years, but also alarmingly concerned that something similar could happen to me.

My ex-husband and I both ended up with sarcoma. Remember when I said it was one of the rarest cancers for adult onset? It really is. It’s very rare. So what are the odds that 2 people in the same household both end up with it 2 years apart?

Astronomical.

For example – I once read that there are about 250,000 cases of new breast cancer annually. There are less than 1,000 cases of sarcoma annually, between children and adults combined, and it’s less likely in adults.

It’s rare.

So.. I did address my concerns with an oncologist. What are the chances I could end up with another form of cancer in a year ? 2 years? 10 years? I’ve been lucky my sarcoma in my thigh hasn’t recurred, and while I worry about that, I also worry about getting just some completely different type of cancer, just like my ex.

The oncologist I spoke with did not deem my concerns justified. He, in fact, suggested something about since I’m not genetically related to my ex husband, I shouldn’t be concerned. Gee, thanks. I don’t think I’ll be seeing that one again.

But really, the worry is out of my hands. All I can do is stay on top of my health and do my best. I don’t technically need MRI’s annually any more, but that doesn’t mean I can’t just get one as a recheck. My current oncologist actually left, so I need to find a new one.

I’ve never been as satisfied with any oncology team I’ve had since moving away from Northwestern Memorial, but all the same, the MRI’s have always been clear.

I have been so incredibly lucky these last 10 years, to keep my leg and my life, and fight back against what was happening to me inside and out, get free, get healed, and build a new life. I’ve been so lucky. I’ve lost a lot – I’ve lost my precious horses, and some sense of my self, but I’ve gained more now than I ever dreamed possible.

I look forward to many many more years cherishing my beloved husband and travelling as much as we can, and enjoy the life and gifts God gave me.

The Big Trip of 2021! And my 10 Year Anniversary!

It happened! The time came!!! Almost 2 years of payments! It was hard to believe that this day was actually ever coming!

There was a time in the not-so-distant past, when I could only dream of going anywhere outside of the Midwest, USA. Anywhere.

But put together one amazing, adventurous husband with a desire to travel, and 2 people who will budget and make payments for a long, long time… and you have a recipe to travel anywhere in the world with a little patience.

So, I give you – Montego Bay, Jamaica.

It all started with a simple conversation back in 2020. Remember that year? Shortly after the word Corona swept in like a bad fad, my husband and I started idly talking about our wedding anniversary.

We had only been married a few months and we were already figuring on being too broke to do anything for our 1 year anniversary (lol), but we thought we could pull off a 2nd anniversary trip. Cue in conversation about all-inclusive resorts.

We weren’t really familiar with all-inclusives, but we soon honed into Sandals, and the next thing we knew, we a had a trip booked to an oceanfront walkout room in Jamaica. Paying for it, and buying flight tickets there was a whole other story, but our 2nd wedding anniversary was in the books.

Finally, after many many many payments and time, we arrived to Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

We picked a room that did not offer butler service, which we felt was unnecessary anyway. We would have loved to stay at the over the water private bungalows, but they were well beyond our price range, so we chose a beautiful room right on the beach.

When we arrived into MB, via the Club MoBay lounge (useful for getting through customs), we were chauffeured to the resort by a private driver because of the level room we selected. And we pulled in to….. the wrong resort. Ooops. Really. The driver took us (and thankfully our bags, too), to Sandals Montego Bay resort, instead of Royal Caribbean.

No big deal, the 2 resorts are about 15 minutes apart, so we were soon at our actual resort checking into the room. With the time change and early darkness, we were just about now wishing that the flight hadn’t been pushed back by 3 hours.

We arrived just before (painfully early) sunset, and it was so beautiful. White sand, clear blue ocean, and palm trees right outside the sliding glass doors to the room. Wow. The smell of the sea; the beauty of it all.

And the room service we had that first night! LOL!

On the morning of the next day, we made our way to breakfast and had a SCUBA lesson planned. We started with the SCUBA class. I was excited to try SCUBA in the actual ocean for the first time. My husband was a bit more reluctant. Halfway through the pool class, we bailed. If he wasn’t comfortable doing it, I wasn’t going to do without him. We opted for laying in a pool instead until it was time for dinner.

We greatly enjoyed dining on the private island at the Royal Thai, and earlier in the day at the Jerk Shack. We tried new foods and enjoyed the sun, walked around and found some Jamaican birds and watched the sea. We played Yahtzee by a fire pit that night (we travel everywhere with our Yahtzee. It’s our tradition).

Above ^ Jamaican Swallowtail Hummingbird (also knows as a Doctor Bird), the national bird of Jamaica; the Sandals sign above the swing, with the other Sandals sign on the private island in the background, a cattle egret, kayaking in the ocean, relaxing on the beach, and the private bungalows at dawn.

We kayaked, we floated, we ate, we drank. Now, I am definitely a non-drinker. I just don’t like the taste of alcohol, never have. But I still managed to find a few drinks there I really liked. Blue Hawaain and Sky Juice- yes please. I think I drank more coconut rum during our (entirely too short) stay there than I have in my entire life.

We also went snorkeling, which I enjoyed. Let’s just say, I don’t think most water activities in general are something my husband enjoys, LOL! That’s going to make our next trip very very interesting, since it’s another cruise…..

We celebrated our anniversary in style, dressed up, and enjoying fine dining at the French restaurant. (Or le restaurant Francais, as I’m learning while I learn French.) I had escargo and lamb, and my husband had fiilet. We were sung to by the wait staff. It was fantastic.

Unfortunately, all good trips must end, and ours came to an entirely too quick of an end. We are way busier than we thought we’d be, honestly. I was expecting a little more slacking on the beach time relaxing, but we wound up bouncing from activity to activity and pool to pool and restaurant to … well, you get the idea. Our days went quickly, and our trip was over way too quickly.

Was absolutely everything perfect? No. But the trip on the whole was incredible. Had we known better, we would have done things differently. This trip was truly once in a lifetime for us, because whie we met many people who vacation with Sandals annually (or more), for us, we want to be able to have big trips all over the place, instead of going to the same place (or same type of place) repeatedly.

One thing we didn’t realize was just how loud the resort was. We never had time (or desire) to go back to the Montego Bay resort to visit there. We did quite enough at the Royal Caribbean resort to fill our days. But it was so loud. We were looking for a quiet, relaxing getaway. Instead, we had music non-stop from 10am until 11pm, and unfortunately, our room was right next to the main stage. I mean right next to it.

Also, oddly, the bathroom had no counter. It was just all sink. It was a big sink that took up the entire space. There was no counter top to put makeup out, or lay a toothbrush on. It was a little odd.

We definitely would have selected a room on the quiet side of the resort, which we’ve learned from experience now, was definitely not right between the main beach and the main stage! And we would have doubled the length of our stay, lol!! (if only, right?)

But that was it! The big trip for 2021!!! It was incredible!!!

Now, I did mention a cruise…. that’s our next major travel plan. We’re already paying on it, and have it almost half paid for already (yay us!). It’s in 2023. We’re also planning on Disney for a proper full week in 2024. We probably won’t do much in 2022, maybe a short weekend trip that’s about it. But back to that cruise in 2023…..

It’s a 14 night cruise!! And the itinerary looks something like this:

We can’t wait!! Of course, I’m super excited to see all the amazing sights, and since we are going to France and French owned territories, I’ve been learning French slowly but surely all this year, and I’ll keep going through the cruise, just so I can order petit fours from a French bakery in France while speaking French. Yep.

It’s been an incredible 10 years (almost to the date) since I was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma. TEN YEARS. When I think of the place I was in back then (heck, I started this blog not long after, as well), the situation I was in mentally, emotionally, financially, physically, medically… I can’t even believe I made it 10 years at all, let alone surviving cancer and enjoying 10 years with no new recurrences (fingers crossed daily that it never happens).

I can’t believe where I’ve gotten to over those years. So much as changed. I left my ex, I hit rock bottom, I had a mental breakdown. I rebuilt. I grew. I found God’s blessing, and then by His grace, He sent me my husband. I’ve lost my horses, which has torn me apart. I’ve travelled with my husband to amazing places, and we have so much more planned. We got a bunny. LOL.

My husband and I have tossed around many trip ideas, and we have a bucket list. We’re working on it, and little by little, I believe we will get it all checked off. He wants to go to Seattle to see Bruce Lee’s grave. We want to go to Vegas, Roswell, San Diego, Los Angeles. We’ve talked about taking a cruise to Aruba, Mexico, seeing the Mayan pyramids, and going to Egypt to see the pyramids. We’ve talked about a cruise to Alaska, and getting back to the Bahamas.

Time and patience, and monthly payments, and I have no doubt we’ll make it all happen. I have definitely learned to go do it! I lost 12 years of enjoying life, and getting deep into debt during my past marriage. My husband never travelled before we met either. There’s still time, (plenty, I hope) to do the things we’ve talked about doing – including skydiving.

So here’s to making it happen without saying “maybe next year” until too many years have passed and there’s no more years left.

Jesse’s mouth journey

Well the xrays have been done, I’ve just been bad about posting. I’ve been so busy (aka stressed) about a few things, that I just haven’t taken the time to get online and update, but boy oh boy do I have lots to update!

In fact, I’ll have back to back posts!

So, as far as Jesse goes; he is all set up to have his incisors removed due to EOTRH. That’s happening in just a couple weeks.

You can see from the photos alone that his teeth just aren’t right, even for an older horse.
You can see from the xrays, just how bad they really are. The first 2 images are his bottom teeth and the last image is the top jaw.

The top teeth aren’t horrible. In fact, the 2 in the middle look pretty good. Note how smooth the edges of those 2 middle teeth are in the last xray. The incisors off to each side aren’t the greatest, but they still aren’t awful, although one of them does have a broken root.

The first 2 images are of his lower teeth, and those are really not the best. Again, he’s got pretty decent middle incisors, but there is a lot of bone loss around them, so they aren’t sitting too deeply into his actual jaw bone. The other teeth along the bottom, as you can see from the very rough edges, are really rotting. The lower left incisor is the one with noticeable rot just looking at it (that’s the one towards the top of the xray) and you can see on the xray how his tooth root looks rather “gnawed” like a rat (or would that be bunny…?) was chewing on it. Same with the exact opposite tooth on the other side (closer to the bottom of the xray).

So there it is. All those teeth, his big, characteristic Elvis teeth, will be pulled out in a few weeks. Boy, I do hope the gold horse dentures with blue diamond inlays arrived as ordered.

More to come on the Jesse subject soon. (Probably not the dentures….)

Jesse and his Big Big Toofies

Jesse, my sweet Jesse little love.

Jesse has always what I liked to call “Elvis Teeth”. Example A:

I first met Jesse when he was brought to the barn I was boarding at in 2009. He was a wild little thing, at 13 years old. He was “just a pet” and was basically treated as such and for the most part was just wild.

Sometime around the fall of 2011, I got it in my head to see what he could do, and asked the barn owner, who had taken ownership of him, if I could get him to drive. Sometime after lassoing him, watching him try climb the 5ft tall paddock gate and having him run out of control in the round pen for about 45 minutes, eventually I was able to get him driving.

Jesse was smart, catty, sometimes a bit too responsive. He would bolt sometimes in the cart, but he wasn’t spooky exactly. He was just a good boy hidden under a decade or more of just lack of training or handling.

But he always had his charms with his comical teeth. It was probably around 2015… maybe 2016 when I first noticed that Jesse would have some trouble biting carrots or apples. I mentioned it the dentist/vet during routine check ups and it was just pretty much “side information”. He was healthy and happy.

It wasn’t until dental visit 2020 that the vet mentioned Jesse was “leaning towards” a condition called EOTRH. Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (yes, I had to Google all that).

A few symptoms that people notice are – difficulty biting into apples/carrots, keeping the lips slightly pulled back when bitted (or even when not bitted), and reluctance to turn.

It wasn’t until the 2021 vet visit when he was officially confirmed to have EOTRH, that I realized he’s had all of those symptoms for years. He would occasionally get stuck when turning to the left, and just needed a second to straighten out and try again. He has had trouble eating carrots/apples (the first bite) for years, and he definitely has his lips pulled back slightly most of the time, which I always thought was just because his teeth were so long.

Well, now Jesse is 25 and has the official diagnosis, and I feel more than a little bad that he’s been probably in some amount of pain for years and really, we just simply never knew.

He now currently has 3 loose incisors. One is noticeably decaying in a corner just a bit (on the left lower side… which probably explains why he sometimes gets stuck turning left. The bit causes him pain.)

As I think about it, and consider this disease, I bet Dixie had it too, but we just never knew. Many horses show no symptoms at all. I’ve had bad luck with teeth being removed and animals going downhill after that procedure, but all the same, the only real treatment option for Jesse is to have all the incisors (canines too, if needed) removed.

Even though this is done standing, it’s still considered surgery. And it is in no way a cheap procedure. I hit a mild state of panic recently when I found out how much this is all going to cost. Part of me wants to literally do nothing – he’s been living with this problem for years, and he is 25! But part of me feels so bad he’s been living with this for years, that I want to do what I can to keep him comfortable.

It does not seem likely that pulling only the 3 noticeably loose/affected teeth are a possibility at this point. It seems like I just have to leap in and have them all pulled. The first real step is to simply get his mouth radiographed and find out exactly what is going on and how bad the tooth root decay actually is.

Maybe I’ll get lucky and we’ll find out it is just limited to 3 teeth and won’t be a big deal. Probably not. More than likely, all of them will have to be surgically extracted. In a couple weeks, the xrays will be done and we’ll know more.

Until then, I’ll be trying to figure out how to come up with enough money to basically buy another horse, while look for options that don’t include being in debt for the next 3 years paying for this.

Oh little man…. it’s like you’ve taken an extra $100 a year per year of your life and blow it all at once!

Brain… please stop … Just Stop

I believe I saw somewhere that this month is Mental Health Awareness month. How timely.

If you’ve followed my blog, or read back through the archives at all, you’ve probably noticed (long before I did) that I struggle with mental health. It took me years… YEARS… about 35 of them to be exact… to realize that I wasn’t just an angry, difficult personality that was always defensive and easily provoked.

My behaviour from childhood on up has been practically textbook for someone who has dealt with abuse, trauma, stress, and mental health issues. Literally from the time I was very very young. I always thought it was part of my personality, especially when I had people around me telling me I was just basically a bad person. (Shitty, is usually the word, actually). So I believed that was just me.

I didn’t want it to be “just me” and my personality I couldn’t escape. I didn’t want to be the weird, outcast, anti-social, practically sociopathic person with a huge temper. I wanted someone to enjoy being around me and tell me I was good enough. To that end, co-dependency clearly and easily developed and I married an abuser who told me he loved me, but I had to earn that love and bring it out of him by meeting criteria a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j… well you get the point. See past blog posts for more. LOL! (Or don’t… really don’t).

ANYWAY…. So here I am now, in a MUCH happier place.

It wasn’t until I hit my absolute lowest, which really was shortly after I turned 36, that I finally opened the door to true happiness. Did you catch that? I had to be at my absolute lowest before I had a chance to find happiness. I was still sitting in a hell hole of a life with a narcissistic life, hope, joy sucking abuser and after over almost 12 years of it, I was done. I was pondering suicide as a valid way out. It was my horses that kept me from that path. What would happen to my precious horses if I left them to the abuser?

I left behind cats that I loved, personal possessions (which were eventually lost) that I decided I just did not need to survive, and I left. I had a complete, hysterical, very unpretty meltdown. There were many nights I was sure I would be alone forever because I was this awful, fat, unloveable, unwantable, horrible person. I had so many flaws that were so obvious to me, how could anyone else see past them.

The road to mental healing took a long time. A long long long time. In fact, I’m still travelling it. And while I had my beloved, amazing (um… angel) of a husband now, who has had to deal with with my mental issues over the years, I still have mental issues.

Sometimes, I just ask my brain to stop. Just stop. Stop telling me things I don’t want to be told.

I have anxiety. This I finally know, accept, and manage as best I can. I’ve always had anxiety, I just never actually realized it until I was pushing 40 years old. Sometimes, I just want my brain to stop.

I have trouble sleeping. I really have trouble sleeping. I do have anti-anxiety meds which do help me sleep, but they usually don’t keep me asleep. I sometimes wake up at 2 or 3am, and that’s it. I’m up. I’m laying in bed unable to shut my brain off.

I prefer to keep actively busy – busy writing, busy walking, hiking, photographing, painting, working, house cleaning, grocery shopping, going to the barn. Busy busy busy. Because usually if I’m doing something, I can keep my brain focused on what I’m doing. If I’m involved in a passive activity, I find that my brain tends to run out of control thinking and thinking and contemplating life. Sometimes I can barely make it through an hour of a TV show because my mind just starts running all over the place.

Even though I like to write, I don’t like to read. Sitting still and just reading is not active enough for me. Ironic, isn’t it. I rarely even proof-read what I’ve written.

Brain, just please stop. Stop.

I am actually stressing about our upcoming trip to Jamaica because I am worried I won’t be able to relax!! Usually when we take a trip, we are busy. We have something to wake up for, somewhere to go, some panel to get in line for… busy busy busy all day for 10 hours straight. Let’s hike here, let’s go see this place… let’s check this out. Do this, do that. Go Go Go.

When we go to Jamaica, we are not doing anything. We do have SCUBA diving planned, so we have a class to get up for one morning, and another diving trip on another day. Other than that, we aren’t leaving the resort. No excursions, no itinerary. Just some snorkeling, and lots of eating, and plenty of time to relax on the beach front for 4 days. And I’m not sure I can do it. Sitting still for hours and hours every day… that’s just not me. And I really want to relax on this vacation for a change!!

My brain has to continually analyze every past mistake, error, fault, flaw, situation. Everything. And I’ve been especially revisiting my years of riding history. How did it all go so wrong? I wouldn’t mind riding again now, but I can’t trust myself on a horse. How could I have been such a shitty rider? Rehashing every mistake, every time I possibly kept my reins too short, or made a horse engage the hind end when it probably couldn’t and I didn’t really know WTF I was doing anyway. How could I have taken lessons for 15 years and still not be able to ride? What if I were to ride another horse? So much money in lessons to learn and show and grow and be better, and in the end, I did none of those things. I didn’t achieve what I dreamt of, never could. Never had the finances or support. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Was it a sign from God to quit, or a test of my faith to keep pressing on? I took it is a sign to press on… until I realized it was a sign to quit. Am I happier? No, not really. Do I feel like it was the right choice? Yes, I do. However, my failures as a rider, the fact that I never got the barn I dreamt of, or became the pro trainer/instructor/barn owner/competitor I wanted to be, will always be my single biggest disappointment of my life. Period.

I still think about my ex, and fixate on particular situations or think about the overall time I had with him. How did I get myself into 12 years of hell like that? How did I survive that? I think about specific incidents, and sometimes I find myself getting angry over it. Now, mind you, since he died in June 2020, I do think about him far less. I mean far far far less. But still, it’s still there. I guess you can say it’s a trauma that I just can’t seem to mentally move past.

For all the blessings in my life now, my brain still wants to focus on those two things from my past, and analyze them over and over and over and over again and again and again. From rides gone wrong, to an entire marriage of hell. Brain, please just stop. Stop keeping me there; stop making me analyze those aspects of my life repeatedly.

It’s like I’m living in a constant state of self-created mental torture, and I have no doubt that’s why I always try to keep so busy…. it’s a defensive way to fend off anxiety.

Still, I get triggered and my anxiety can hit hard sometimes. I still lack confidence… confidence in how I look, my horsemanship, my art… I still have doubts about myself and the kind of person I am; even though I am so blessed and happy, and living a life now that I had only dreamed of – a life where I actually have a husband that loves me the way I had fantasized… a house… the ability to travel. It’s like I’m living a life that isn’t mine; I stole someone else’s.

Now, if I could only relax into it and get my brain to stop.


I doubt I’m the only one that feels that way, but I don’t personally know too many people that feel similarly. Brain, just please stop now. Thank you!

More Adventures!

September has been a busy month! It’s been the busiest by far in a while.

After a full year without travelling anywhere, it felt so good to get to DragonCon for the first and last time in a long while. Then, just 2 weeks after returning home, we had another trip booked!

We still aren’t done with 2021 travel either. We have a trip in November which I am so happy to say that after 19 payments is finally paid for!!!! $0 balance!!! We are still paying on a trip for 2023 and only 19 more payments to make on that one. It’s going to feel quite good when that trip is all paid. But we are also planning another big one for 2024 that we will need about 2 years to save for, so we will be doing that right away.

Anyway, for our 2nd trip this September, my husband and I went back to Universal Studios Orlando. We had to get up at 3am to make our flight and I think I’m still recovering from that early start, lol. I told my husband no more flights before 8am at the airport over an hour away!

We have an airport 15 minutes from the house which is way more convenient, but also usually twice the price. So, we generally fly from Chicago O’Hare to save on airfare.

Last year, we went to Universal Orlando for my hubby’s birthday as well, to do the Harry Potter experiences. What we did not realize, nor plan for time-wise, was the the HP things to do are not only split up into 2 parks, but the Hogwarts Express train only takes you between the parks if you pay extra for the park hopper pass. So last year, we did the Diagon Alley experience, and missed out on both the train, and the Hogsmeade and Hogwarts castle experience.

This year, we went back complete with the Park Hopper pass and did it all!

We actually spent about 10 hours in Universal. Thankfully this year, the operating hours were normal. Last year, due to Covid hours were cut to only 5pm, and we barely had time to see and do most things in the Universal Studios theme park, let alone try to have done The Island of Adventure theme park that same day as well.

This year, thankfully due to longer hours, we got it all in, although honestly, we could have used another day to revisit both parks. There was more we wanted to see and do, but we just couldn’t.

After several hours in the park, we decided to get some dinner, and coincidentally enough, it started to rain right about the time we were getting hungry, and all the rides shut down. We had already done all of Hogsmeade and taken the train back and forth the other park and revisited Diagon Alley, plus had a light lunch. So by the time dinner rolled around, the rain was a welcome break.

It rained exactly long enough for us to have an unbelievably incredible steak dinner – easily one of the best steaks we have ever had- and then go right back to the park since the rain stopped and the rides were opened once again.

We had plenty of time to visit Jurassic Park, but we were all “roller coastered out” . After I got pretty disoriented on the Hogwarts one, I did not want to get any more. We did the Hagrid motorcycle roller coaster ride and survived that without issue, but I don’t do as well in the VR experiences like the Hogwarts one. I would have liked to have gone on the Hippogriff roller coaster, but after trying to regain my footing after the VR ride in the castle, I decided 2 rides was my limit. We did not even attempt the Velicoaster, it just looked like too much, lol!

But the Jurassic Park visitor area was way cool, and that’s the spot where my husband and I definitely spent the most money buying novelties from T-shirts to stickers, lol. Other than our steak dinner, of course which was an expensive splurge, but a delicious one.

With the rain having stopped most of the rides for about an hour, it seemed like the park got pretty empty after that. My husband and I went back in and did a couple more water rides, including the Jurassic Park water ride with an 85-foot drop. It was a lot of fun, though we both got way more wet on the other water ride we did which was the Ripsaw Falls one. That was definitely our favorite ride of the day.

We got back to our hotel late enough at night to fall asleep and manage to drag ourselves out of bed for our early morning flight out of Orlando.

Hopefully we can put our plans into fruition to go back to both Orlando and Ocala for a couple of days next May, but right as of now, that trip is in a holding pattern until we see if flight costs go down at all.

We are eagerly awaiting our next, and final, trip in 2021, which will be an overall RELAXING trip to Jamaica. We have almost no plans, we’re not going to spend 10 hours walking around or doing excursions and getting exhausted, but we do have snorkel equipment and did enroll for Scuba. Can’t wait to spend a little time under the water, for sure! What an experience that will be!

For now, we don’t have much planned for 2022, just some tentative ideas, but mostly it will be pre-planning for our 2023 cruise to Europe. There are going to be some big, unplanned changes in our lives in the next 18 months or so that could have an impact on our travel adventures. Fingers crossed all goes well in that regard. (No, I’m not pregnant)

Until next time!!!!

DragonCon 2021

It’s hard to believe, but’s already over! It was a long anticipated 4 year end to the hiatus of attending DragonCon, and this experience did not disappoint!


Mask mandates aside, we had a wonderful time. From a the long road trip to the first step into the Marriott to the panels, the food, the swag, the crowds and the costuming, and the GA Aquarium, this DragonCon was easily one of the most fun I’ve ever experienced out of my 6 times attending.

The drive down wasn’t too bad, because we split it up. We drove halfway on Wednesday and the rest on Thursday. We were on target to get into Atlanta around 2pm, but traffic jams and delays put us there around 5pm instead. My parents were already there, badges ready, but by the time we got checked in, ate, and made it to badge pick up, we missed the cut off by about 20 people, so we would just have to get badges the next day.


It was my husband’s first, and my Dad and stepmother came along for their 2nd time to DragonCon! We all spent 3 days enjoying ourselves and getting worn out and sore. If you’re not sore and tired after DragonCon, you’re not doing it right.


I did try to forewarn my amazing husband, as I’ve talked about DragonCon for literally years to him, that he should expect to do a lot of walking and not much sleeping. I still don’t quite think I prepared for the experience until he really got there and saw and did it all for himself, and I think in the end, he ultimately loved it. Maybe not as much as I do, but he enjoyed himself.

Saturday Night we did something I had been wanting to do for years and years, which was attend the DragonCon Night at the Aquarium. We found out that the GA Aquarium is actually the largest aquarium in the U.S. (cool!), and it was really worth it. We spent about 6 hours in costume, most of it (painfully) walking around the aquarium, and a little more time limping our way through the Marriott as well. The shoes we were both wearing were not good on our feet and the next time we wear our John Wick & Gianna D’Antonnio costumes, we will do some major comfort changes.

I was so excited to unveil in particular those costumes because it’s actually the first couple’s costume my husband and I have done, and because we would be wearing them to the Aquarium, which I was really looking forward to!

It really was an amazing experience! Seeing the whales and sharks just casually swimming around, it was so peaceful and serene. I would definitely do it again (just in more comfortable clothing!)

Sunday my husband and I debuted another couple’s costume which was Frank Kros and the Ghost of Christmas Present. It cracked a lot of people up that I even included a toaster to complete my look!

And my Dad got into the costuming as well with his Fly costume, and he turned quite a few heads!

My poor stepmother for her 2nd time to DragonCon! She was a trooper, but quite a bit like a fish out water. She is as Muggle as a Muggle can get!

It was a great time, though, and since I rarely get to see my Dad & Stepmom, it was nice to see them again. We only get together about once a year, and in 2020 not at all due to everything being cancelled.

We do have some upcoming convention and costuming plans for the remainder of 2021 as well as into 2022. My Dad suggested we all go to the World Science Fiction Con in Chicago 2022, so we’ll see. My husband and I have some travel plans for 2022 that might bring that into conflict. Also, while it seems far, far off (for now) it will be here before we know it – we have a major travel plan booked for 2023 and being paid on. The 4 of us are planning to take a family trip on a cruise to Europe to 9 different ports across the Atlantic. Really can’t wait for that.

For now, though, I’m still on a bit of a post-DragonCon high. Which is quite opposite of how I normally feel when I leave DragonCon. The post con blues/depression is a real thing. Leaving DragonCon this year was a bit bittersweet. I was sad that it was over, and that our days together were done; I was also sad that we have no plans to return to DragonCon anytime in the next 4 years or more. I know it will probably be the last time my Dad and Stepmom attend, and my husband and I won’t go for quite a while.

But on the other side of things, it was just such a GREAT time that I’d rather just think about how much fun it all was and not worry about the rest of it!

We had unicorn burgers and Hooters at 1am. Rocky Horror live and multiple panels (which was amazing!) We hit up the vendor’s hall 3 times over the weekend and landed a ton of swag (both free and paid for). There’s not a more amazing con that ever existed. But be prepared for LOTS of walking, sitting on concrete, and not a lot of sleep.

Somehow, we managed to do the Aquarium in costume Saturday night, change, get Hooter’s make to the 1am start of Rocky Horror Live, sleep a bit, get up and make it into line for a Harry Potter panel, then make front row to the next panel and still hit another panel, while managing to get lunch (Hooter’s again, lol) and hit the vendors hall all on Sunday after getting all of maybe 4 hours sleep.

We left DragonCon on Monday. In the 6 times I’ve attended, I’ve only ever stayed through Monday once. There isn’t much happening on Monday, so we used that day to make the 13 hour drive home all at once. It isn’t as brutal as that might sound, it really isn’t a bad drive just cruising along the highway. Only hit a bit of traffic, and arrived home an hour earlier than expected due to the smooth sailing.

Speaking of sailing, did I mention we’re taking a cruise to Europe? Did I mention it’s 14 days?!
Can’t wait !!!! Only about 480 days to go, lol. Guess we’ve got some time.

Till next time!!!

More adventures to come!!!!