Expanding my horizons– writing a book taking place in Cuba

Are you considering travel to Cuba? Or better yet, have you been there? I’d love to hear what you enjoyed about Cuba. Travel agencies are responding to the high demand for educational journeys to this cultural gem. Cruising to and around the island country is the most popular. I’d love to explore the coast between Havana and Santiago de Cuba.  There’s a nature reserve on Isla de la Juventud, and that is only accessible by sea.  There are getting off the ship points in order to connect with Cuban people and their culture.  Visitors learn about arts, history, cigar production, baseball, and Ernest Hemingway when he lived in Cuba.

Neighbors who told traveled to Cuba a few months ago raved about the sweetness of Cubans. I hope all is stable politically so that we can continue a connection with Cubans and their way of life which is very restrictive under communism.  This aspect is an underlying theme in my book, One Night in Havana, coming soon from Tirgearr Publishing.

Havana

 

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To dye or not to dye, that is the question.

Do you think only their hairdressers know for sure? Most do not care. 75% of women dye their hair, and they believe by doing it, they’re boosting their confidence.  Here’s another statistic:  Six out of 67 female members of the House of Representatives show gray but none of the 14 female US senators do.  I admit to falling into the “do” category with low-lights. Between visits, I know two tricks for touching them up.  I smear Vaseline along the hairline and back of ears before stroking color with an artist’s brush.  Low-lights cover about half of my gray.

How do you feel about going gray? Do you feel it’s more authentic?  Emmylou Harris, 64, has let her hair go white naturally.  Do white haired women have more fun than blondes?

Emmy_Lou_Harris

Spring cleaning– with our planner!

When we think of Spring cleaning, it’s about weeding and clearing, but what about our own lives, our me-time? My planner is filled to the brim. Involvement is a great way to “get out of ourselves” and make a difference. An organization we believe in needs help, and we volunteer, but over-involvement takes its toll.  To-do lists stack up.  As a responsible person,  I can’t just quit or become forgetful with tasks I need to complete.  I am cutting back in ways that benefits me the most.  Do I feel better?  Yes, I do, and I’m off to swim laps in celebration.

Last night my husband and best friend, Gerry, asked my how my sequel to Deadly Alliance is coming along. Slowly, I said, with this, that, and the other thing.  His advice? Cut back, give yourself more time to do what you love.  I’m completing my year as Secretary/membership of OCCRWA, and will assist the person who takes this on.   I get a lot out of  my church and my sorority alum group, Kappa Alpha Theta. I won’t be doing any political work.

pool

 

 

 

Help. I need to organize clutter!

Did a really say organize clutter? Our closet is small and cramped, made worse with worn out shoes, and shelves stuffed with too many items.  With springtime coming, I’m in the declutter mood. I gave myself clear goals– get rid of clothing I haven’t worn in two years.  We can’t organize inside chaos just like we can’t put a puzzle together inside a box.  That said, I put a clean sheet on our bed, put everything on it, and made choices.  It was fun listening to music, and either throwing out or placing in a donation bag.  I made some decisions for my husband.  He’s a CPA and way too busy to do this during tax season.

closet

Is it starve a fever, feed a cold or the opposite?

chickennoodle

Yes sireee, Chicken soup is dinner.  Why do I know this other than from Grandma? I read up on an article in Prevention by Pam Peeke, MD. Turns out, it’s neither. Chances are you’ll catch at least a sniffle this cold and flu season, but it’s not how much you eat, but rather what you eat that can help soothe your stuffy head and aches and pains. “The right nutrients can help your body fight off an illness, Peek says. She came up with two simple eating plans to shake the symptoms, fortify your immune system and speed recovery. Today I’m focusing on the cold diet.

Peeke recommends an omelet with salsa for breakfast . Eggs are rich in zinc, an immune system booster.  Yogurt is your go-to snack, reducing the body’s inflammatory response. Drink decaf green tea with lemon.  For lunch, red pepper slices and broccoli with hummus.  Vitamin C is important for immune health.  Eat an orange. Hummus gives us protein to help fight disease-fighting antibodies.  Snack on sweet potato slices for vitamin A. You know what’s for dinner!

greentea
Green Tea!

Fast relief for tired feet

Did you have a go-go day?  Do your feet feel extra tired and sore? Take off those pretty shoes and lace your fingers between the toes of the opposite foot as if you’re “shaking hands” with your foot.  Hold for a minutes, slowly pulling your toes back and forth, then repeat on the other foot.  This move stretches the muscles between the long bones of the feet, which get cramped from activity or wearing high heels.  Ahh… better?

tired feet

People craft– taking care of yourself

Where are you on the neatness scale, 0 to 10?  I’m here to talk about mess, the absence of mess, and the impact on self-esteem. When it comes to writing, I’m organized. I have a story outline, synopsis, and write a blurb prior to writing the actual book.  A messy mind is a time-waster, but I’m talking about our physical environment. With house neatness, I’m about an 8. It looks like a 9.5 if you walk in the door. The refrigerator and draws could use some help.  I drool over my friend, Mary Alice’s garage!

garage

People craft– getting along with yourself

As my husband Gerry worked late again in order to leave on our ten-day vacation to Vancouver and the San Juan Islands off the state of Washington, he said, “It’s good to get away.”  He’s exhausted but meant it when he signed us up for a six-hour kayaking tour. I also love ocean kayaking.  Orca aren’t the only whales found in the waters of the San Juan Islands. Northern minke whales also live in the inland coastal waters of Washington but can be shy of boat traffic.  He hopes to see some whales up close!

kayak trip