Martini Wednesday, almost a thing…

After yesterday’s blog post, some asked if I celebrated with a martini. No, I ended up passing. But I will tell you a secret—I love vodka martinis!

If they weren’t bad for you, I would enjoy cocktail hour every evening by drinking a vodka martini, extra olives.

Unfortunately, I had breast cancer, and I’ve been advised to drink no more than two alcoholic beverages a week. Since I want to live, I take the advice.

But even before the breast cancer, I understood women and booze—especially hard liquor—not a good combo for one’s health, so I practiced moderation.

Yet, once when Don made my mom and me martinis, we enjoyed them so much we came up with a plan.  It was a Wednesday evening, and we sat out on the patio of our then Havasu home.

Mom and I giggled a lot that night, enjoying our cocktails, and decided to proclaim Wednesdays—Martini Wednesday. That was our plan. We would each have two martinis every Wednesday.  (Two is the limit.)

But the next morning, Mom and I each woke up with a new outlook. Neither of us had a restful night sleep. Hard liquor might put me to sleep early, but sometimes it makes me wake up at 3 am.  So did Mom that night. Hence, Martini Wednesday never became a thing.

But last month it was my daughter-in-law’s birthday, and she and our son were having dinner at our house. She wanted martinis, so I decided to save up my two-drink quota for that night. When out buying the vodka, my husband spotted the most adorable martini glass (above) and bought it for our daughter-in-law, SeAnne. We think it sort of looks like her! He bought me the stemless one.

So, I think I’ll wait to have my next martini for when SeAnne can join me. 

What I did do last night, was take an early shower and snuggle up in bed to watch Pat Rooney deliver my speech. It was live streamed on Havasu Online TV over on Facebook. If you are interested in seeing how he did, you should be able to find the video by clicking here. Pat’s part comes right after 1.02.20, when they introduce the awards.

But for now, time to get off the computer. We have friends from California coming for a visit, and I am VERY excited! We haven’t seen them since pre-pandemic.  Hope you all have a great weekend!

Resetting Priorities

photoProductive writing for me meant starting early in the morning—getting up and going to work. It also meant a lot of sitting, something my mother constantly warned me about. “They” say extended sitting can be as damning to your health as smoking.

I tried to get up every hour and walk around. But when I was deep into a story, several hours might go by before I remembered a break was in order.

One of my writer friends, Russell Blake solved the sitting problem by using a treadmill desk. I wasn’t sure where I would put such a desk, so I started with a jogging trampoline, which proved to be fine for grabbing a few minutes of aerobic movement, but not terrific for walking and writing.

In October our daughter gave me a treadmill and Don built a desktop to convert it into a treadmill desk. Around this time our life seemed to spiral out of control—again. We had spent the summer and early fall dealing with Don’s medical issues, and now that he was on the mend, we hoped to get back to our lives. But then my mother-in-law passed away the end of October, and by early November I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I’ve done a lot of soul searching to figure out why I’m facing cancer—again. Considering the type of cancer I have—estrogen fed—I suspect my sedentary writer’s lifestyle was a major contributing factor. While I’ve always eaten fairly healthily and don’t do junk food, I was overweight and under exercised.

This is one of those cliché wakeup calls where the person (me) makes lifestyle changes. The diet changes—eliminating dairy, severely limiting beef, going organic—didn’t interfere with my writing—just my pocketbook.

One might think the treadmill desk would be the easy answer, yet it turns out that unlike Russell, I can’t write creatively while walking the treadmill. It’s too distracting, and I don’t do distraction when I write, which is why when I’m working I need to be alone, with no music. How people can write a book while watching television, I have no idea.

This didn’t mean I abandoned the treadmill—after all I do want to live. It meant instead of walking at a slower pace for several hours while writing at the treadmill desk, I would walk at a faster speed for 60 minutes a day—every day.

I’m doing it, but I’ve found the only way I manage to stick to my regiment is to walk in the morning. This interferes with my former writing schedule.

I am learning to adapt to this new routine. I admit, it hasn’t been easy—and I’m not moving as fast on Haunting Danielle, Book 3 as I want, but I’ll get there. I’ll have to, because I’ve been reminded how important it is for all of us to take time each day to take care of ourselves. This means eating healthy food and getting sufficient exercise.

(Photo: My treadmill desk in the office. When using it I can surf on the computer, just  no real writing.)

Today has been good!

dogbedThis morning I finally got the call from my doctor that I’ve been waiting for—to find out if I will need chemo. The test results are in! The verdict: no chemo!

Since getting the breast cancer diagnoses I’ve spent a lot of time online researching cancer. I’ve made radical changes in my diet—switching to organic food, eating more salmon and halibut (which I love), reducing my beef consumption by 90%, practically eliminating dairy, and ramping up my power food consumption. I’m now walking 60 minutes a day on the treadmill and since my surgery in December, have lost 30 pounds and dropped two sizes.

I’ve also read a lot of alternate cancer cure sites which sometimes promotes the notion that doctors are the enemy. After all, cancer is a big industry and someone is raking in mega bucks. But does that really mean all doctors are just looking out for themselves—financially?

People are people. It doesn’t matter what they do for a living, be it a lawyer, doctor, cop or fireman; there will be good ones and bad ones. I prefer to think that the good ones out number the bad. I am sure there are doctors out there who push unnecessary medical procedures to line their pockets, yet I don’t believe that is the norm.

My chemo doctor (I call him that)—told me his job was to treat my cancer, not to give me chemo. He seemed genuinely relieved that the test indicated chemo would not be necessary. I feel blessed to have a supported family, friends, and doctors I trust.

I’ll confess this has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, not knowing for sure what’s around the corner. Of course, we never really know what’s around the corner and our lives can change in a single moment.

On Monday I see the radiation doctor, to schedule treatments. Hopefully I’ll be done by early April, in time to schedule a couple trips to see our kids in Oregon and Northern California.

Other good news today, our nephew’s wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. This is a new grandson for my sis. Grandkids are the best! And great-nephews are pretty great too!

In the meantime, back to writing Haunting Danielle, Book 3. I can finally focus. Well, at least after I finish doing my happy dance.

(Photo: My new writing space in the guest house, Doris Cottage, where I’m working on Haunting Danielle, Book 3.  That’s Lady girl on the new doggy bed we bought for the guest house.  She likes to keep me company.)