Blogging With Julie Continues Part 2

Welcome to my Blog Post

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Julie Lancaster-Whann

I love photography. 

I found my niche in my 50’s.  What might I discover about myself at 60?

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Looks like I have to start a new blog post.  My cyber-stalker Paul Keith Gray has sabotaged my:

Blogging With Julie Continues…..

I cannot even access it.

He does that.

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To View:  Click Below:

Blogging With Julie Continues

I cannot access the post, therefor I have to start a new blog post.  To read more about what I go through having a cyber-stalker, then ready my:

What It’s Like to be Cyber-Stalked

Julie Lancaster Whann 5



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Blogging With Julie

Blogging With Julie Continues

(For past blog posts see the Julie Blogs at the top of the homepage bar, or click on the links below.)

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Julie Blog

Julie Blogs Page 2

Julie Blogs Page 3

Julie Blogs Page 4

Julie Blog Page 5

Julie Blogs Page 6 Archives

Julie Blogs Page 7 Archives


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All I want is to be a regular person. 

Someone that doesn’t have to worry about sabotage from a cyber-stalker that has stalked me for the past 2 decades.  What is it like to not have to worry about such things?  I envy those of you that don’t have my problems.  I find it hard to believe that in my age, 55, I have a stalker.  Get a life Paul!

Julie Lancaster-Whann


I realize that my Home Page may not be in some kind of order where my personal blog posts are concerned.  But I cannot help that.  I have a sophisticated cyber-stalker that interferes with that.  I just do the best that I can considering…….

There are quite a few people aware of him and are helping me.  For that I appreciate them!

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Always Improvise!  🙂

Julie Lancaster-Whann


I’m on Twitter

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I will Follow whomever Follows Me that has mutual interests.  (Or people that I feel sorry for.)  🙂

  I just wanted to expose myself to some talented and creative, and interesting people out there that aren’t necessarily friends.  We all have something to learn from each other.


We have been having lots of fun on Twitter if you would like to follow us:

(If you can’t find me here, then look for me on Twitter.)

(My Twitter Account)

(Gordon’s Twitter Account)

(Our Halloween Fun Account)

(Our Mummy Halloween Account)

(My Cinderella Christmas Account)


I’m Beach Blogging If anyone Is Interested:

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Julie Beach Blogging


November 12, 2017

Nude Beach

I am so loving this Nude Beach eye shadow set, lip liner and liquid lipstick. 

I am going back for the waterproof mascara.

Just had to share,



October 8, 2017

Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe

I’ve been getting some inquiries about when I would start my Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe as I’ve been advertising for it for a few year’s now? 

Just to fill you in, I wanted it to be an Ebay business where I sold treasures that I find at thrift stores, antique stores, junk shop’s, etc.  Also, I want to start parting with some of my own things as I am starting to drown in my own home.  I’ve become a hoarder!  I started buying inventory for my “shoppe” a few years ago and my daughter’s old bedroom is so full that I can barely get in there.  So yes, this “shoppe” has to go forward no matter what.  The problem is finding that time.  To me the best time to start selling on Ebay is in the autumn through Christmas.  I was all set to get started on it in September but then Irma hit us and that set me back.  That’s one reason why our Halloween plans are not as numerous this year as they have been in the past.  The storm might have only lasted a few days, but the aftermath takes so much longer to get things back on track.  We do have some nice Halloween things to do this year, but not as grand as we have in the past.  There just hasn’t been the time.

And as far as my “shoppe” goes, I’m even thinking about just starting it up early next year.  Granted, not the best time to present an inventory of items for people to purchase, but I would at least have the time then to get it started.  So, 2018 it is!  I am determined!  Once Christmas is over with then my inventory will all go into the dining room and we will just live with boxes and packing materials and Ebay auctions galore!

We were dealt a blow 4 months ago when we wanted to erect a backyard home office/studio.  We found someone to build it, it would have been built onto a concrete slab, it would have been 12 x 18 feet, it would have had stucco to match our house and even painted the same color as our house.  BUT, we do live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, the dreaded Home Owner’s Association, and according to their bylaws, anything not connected to your house is considered a shed.  Gordon went to the HOA meeting to present it to the board, only to get shot down!  Our “shed” would have cost around $20,000.00, had electricity and air conditioning, had French doors, a chandelier, a beautiful skylight, etc. etc.  I was also going to use it as my business space for the Julie’s Diamond in the Junque Shoppe. 

But, the senior citizens on the Gestapo board said Nein!! 

So, we are going with our Plan B and in the process of getting an approval to extend our lanai out into our backyard by about 36 feet and having a concrete slab put in with a pool cage over it.  We hired a company to do it.  We told them what we want, they drew up the plans, we submitted them to the HOA board and are now waiting back to hear.  Granted, it won’t be my backyard studio but it will allow us to extend our outdoor living space into our backyard and have that outdoor kitchen and entertaining space we have wanted. 

I’ll let you know what happens.



Here are a few things we just bought yesterday for the “Shoppe.”  The Unveiling, to the left I want to keep.  I like her.  She is a drawing and it’s very damaged.  She was priced at $5.00 but we got her for $2.50.  And the Mary Botto oil painting to the right, we only paid $20.00.  Now we are taking over Brodie’s room with our inventory.  More incentive to find a way to start this.


October 6, 2017

Just Catching Up

It’s Been Awhile, Hasn’t It?

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  It’s not that I haven’t had anything to say, it’s just that I haven’t felt like talking about myself.  I know, I never thought that day would come either.  But it did! 

But luckily that phase has passed and I’m baaaaaaaaaacccckkkkkkk!!!!!!!

I blame Twitter for a lack of need to blog.  I think it’s because I can voice my opinions on Twitter and they reach a larger audience and when you get a “like” or a “retweet” you kind of feel in solidarity with these people.  An interaction, I suppose, with like minded people around the world.  Whereas I don’t get that with my website.  But, being the empath that I am I don’t want to connect too closely to anyone.  I need to blog about that on my old empath blog post because I use social media incorrectly on purpose.  I really don’t want the maximum people to read my tweets, just a handful.  Any more than that and my ears don’t stop ringing for hours, ,mainly my right ear.  It’s very loud too!  When I had my run in with the Brooklyn Decker crowd on Instagram, I write about that on my original empath blog post at the very bottom, I couldn’t sleep for two nights in a row because I was picking up so much anger and hatred from so many over what I said.  It was as if a fire alarm was going off in my ears.  I couldn’t block it out.  I could see the expressions of hate on their faces and I could feel all the nastiness too.  It was awful.  Luckily, they forgot about me after a few days and moved on.  I have however, been working on many blog posts on this website.  I am so behind on so many that I want to catch up.  But realistically, it would take me a good year of doing nothing but blogging to catch up on all I have to post.  And that’s without doing anything new.  Oh well, I do what I can.

It also seems that I’ve written quite a bit of sad and bad things to happen this year.  Actually, since the election last November.  I write in blog posts below about some of them.  And since then we’ve had more terrible things to happen.  Not necessarily to us personally, but to our country and territories.  The hurricanes for example.  We’ve been through our fair share of hurricane’s living here in Florida and when we lived in Hawaii.  But one reason I wanted us to buy a house on the other side of Tampa towards Orlando was so we could get away from the evacuation zones and the flooding.  I mean, I would have loved one of those old historic homes in St. Petersburg, but I knew that what with Global Warming it just wouldn’t be safe or smart to buy one.  So, we looked outside of Tampa at more storm proof homes that weren’t built too long ago, but also weren’t built recently, as in having all that Chinese toxic drywall that so many new homes had.  I did my homework and we settled here, so imagine my surprise when Irma became such a threat?  It’s not that I am surprised Irma was such a threat to the entire state of Florida.  What I am surprised at is that it happened this soon.  A storm affecting us here in the middle of Florida wasn’t on my radar for another 10 years.  I know this is the future, but unfortunately, the future is here now.  Quicker than I thought.

I was out at the condo off and on for a week and a half before Irma hit.

I had gone out there to take advantage of the fact that we were between renters, and I wanted to enjoy some precious “Julie Time.”

BUT, I left on the Monday before Irma hit because I knew this was serious and I knew I needed to secure the condo and then get home to secure our house.  Even though at this time Irma was supposed to be headed up the east coast.

Securing the Condo

So, I took one final photo of the view that I have loved so much since 1998, and secured the condo for the storm and then left. 

Luckily, my mother had just installed new storm slider doors this summer.  That helped keep the water out.  Also, by my spreading lots of towels and blankets along the bottom of the doors and windows, that blocked any air from sucking the water into the condo from the balcony.

It may be sunny above when I left but I quickly encountered terrible rain on my way home!

I passed many cars that pulled over on the side of the highway because it was hard to see.  But I kept going.  Put on sun glasses.  It will cut through the glare so that you can see better.  Also, it’s dangerous to pull over on the side of the road.  Many have been hit by cars that can’t see them parked there.  It’s best to just keep on going but at a safe pace.  Just make sure you have your headlights on and in some cases your hazzard lights.

I was so rushed to leave the condo that I quickly popped some popcorn in the microwave before I left, to eat in the car.  That was lunch!


Hurricane Preparation

There is a lot of hurricane prep to do before any storm hits you.  Most of the time we are already stocked up on supplies to deal with what may come our way.  But we do need to run out and buy last minute things.  Like extra water, batteries, gas to store in the garage, filling your car gas tanks up, etc.

But you are also prepping your outside.  Bringing in patio furniture, plants, pots, etc.  Installing boards over your windows.  Or in our case improvising with what we already had, as well as what was available and in stock at the Home Depot type stores.

The First Storm Prep

I call this the ‘first storm prep’ because Gordon’s plan did evolve as more materials became available at places like Home Depot.  Originally all the plywood had sold out at many of the stores.  So Gordon used what we had available.  As in some extra fence panels, some of Brodie’s 45 pound weights, etc.

Here Gordon is adhering cement board to some of our windows. 

Gordon placed a fence panel along my nook window.  You can see the outside, and the inside. 

(The fountain looks that bad on purpose.  We’ve been letting the backyard frogs lay their eggs and we feed them our leftover lettuce that goes bad.  They then become tadpoles and then frogs.  The sticky kind.)

Meanwhile, I was working on the inside of the house, as in storing up water.

I also brought in the only rose we had left on the trellis.  I just wanted something cheery inside the house.  Seeing as how we were being all boarded up and Irma would have blown it away anyway.

I also brought in some of our key limes that were ripe. 


Our NOAA Radio

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

This radio here can save your life.  Buy one!  Keep it on a windowsill.  It will warn you of danger.



When we knew the storm was coming Gordon bought water, but I also started to save water into containers that we already had on hand.  There is nothing wrong with our water, as far as I know.  So, I saved lots and lots of it.  Not only to drink, but to wash up with, if need be.

(Oh, see the Nestle water from above?  I didn’t notice that Gordon had bought that brand at the time but Nestle pays Flint, Michigan $200.00 a year for that lead loaded water.  And yes, I wrote $200.00.  So we will not be drinking it but we will be water our house plants with it.  I don’t even want to water plants outside with it because then that lead will go into our soil.)

Storing Water in our Guest Bathroom

I started storing water in some of our pots and containers, and even an empty Rubbermaid storage container that was empty.  Keeping everything in the small bathroom.  This water was going to be used for brushing our teeth, or washing up, washing dishes, etc.  Luckily, we never needed it.  But, I never wasted it by dumping it down the drains.  I took it outside and watered our plants with it.  Water will be something we go to war over in the future.  I am not going to waste any.)


Monk and His Water

We also made sure that Monk had a 10 day supply of water on hand.

Don’t forget your pets!

He also had lots of dog food to last him 2 months if necessary. 

We are always stocked up!

Me and The Monkee

Monk and I after an exhausting day. 

Monk had diarrhea for a week because of Irma.  We were so busy running around doing all this prep that it affected Monk and stressed him out.  So, for ONE WEEK Monk had diarrhea everyday!  EVERY DAY!!!


Weather Radio’s, Flashlights, Headlights, Alarms, Lanterns, Batteries, etc…….

Make sure that you gather up all your supplies so that you know what you have and what you don’t.  You also need to make sure that they still work if they haven’t been used in awhile.


You never know just how bad things might get for you.  So filling up your bathtub with water just might come in handy.  I wouldn’t use it for drinking but it would come in handy for washing.


One thing that I did hope, was that the tadpoles would make it.  I gave them lettuce and then they were on their own to survive the storm.


Secure Your Automobiles

One thing that people don’t realize is that tornadoes with hail often accompany hurricane’s.  Not only that, but debris flying by can break your car window’s as well.


We were glued to The Weather Channel the week before Irma hit us.

We brought in every lantern or candle to use for when the lights went out.


More Storm Prep

As more plywood shipments started arriving in our area, Gordon was able to buy a few panels.  This is our bedroom window, outside and inside.  And you can clearly see the photos reflecting in the mirror from the wall that my daughter refers to as “The wall of dead people.” 

(My beloved relatives.  And not all of them are dead.)

Brodie Came Over to Help

Gordon and Brodie were able to secure up the rest of our windows.  Our bathroom, outside and inside.

Wasp Spray

We have lots of wasps here in Florida and they get mad if you disturb their nests and they will come after you.  So, before you start plowing through doing any kind of yard work make sure you have some on hand.  It will spray a stream of up to 20 feet.  It’s also good protection in your home from intruders. 

Gordon also bought other wood to help secure what he had already put together.  Sometime you have to just use what you have on hand when what you need is unavailable.

This odd looking contraption of Gordon’s actually did work.  But probably because the bands of the storm didn’t slam into them.


Release the Kraken!

I was bringing in the plant and I couldn’t resist.  🙂

Lots of Games and Candles

Recharge every single battery that you have because you never know how long you will be without power.


The Florida Hurricane, A.K.A. IRMA

We needed something a little bright with sunshine as we waited for Irma to arrive.  We knew she would be delivering her wrath the following night and we wanted to just enjoy a nice treat before all hell broke loose……. 

The Florida Hurricane

Garnished w/ a slice of Florida Orange and our Key Limes

The Ingredients:

(I’ll let Gordon do the honors here, since he made the drinks for us.)

Florida Shot Glass


 OUR Hurricane IRMA

(I noticed how much the drink looked like a hurricane so I told Gordon to remove the lid so that I could photograph it.)


We Saved Coffee

The food in your refrigerator and freezer will last up to 48 hours without power.  But after that, throw it all away!  We did make extra coffee and stored it in the refrigerator and heated it up on the grill once we lost power.

Instead of Water in the Kettle, we Have Coffee in the Kettle


We ended up taking a last minute evacuee and her cat.  A friend of Brodie’s mother.  Here Gordon is securing her truck.  You can see that the outer bands have reached us.


This photo of me was taken 1 hour before we lost power the night Irma hit us.  It was around 7:30 p.m.  The thing is, our cables are buried underground.  We pay taxes on that.  The only people to lose their electricity was our block, a group of 12 houses.  There was power in the street behind us, and both streets to our left and our right, BUT, NOT US!

We made sure we had lots of fruit, especially citrus and bananas.


And our Hurricane Boxers that Trish and Bob sent us a few year’s back.


The Night Irma Hit Us!

When the power went out and it was time to go to bed, I decided to sleep on the Lazy Boy chair in the living room so that I could monitor any water that might accumulate on our lanai.  I knew that it probably would flood.  Gordon said it wouldn’t. 

The evening before Irma hit Gordon had dug a trench between our house and our neighbor’s in the hopes that the water would flow from our backyard down the trench and to the street.  It did!  He also placed some of our garden hoses that syphoned the water from our back as well.  That worked too!  BUT, I still felt like our lanai would flood.  AND IT DID!


I woke Gordon up at midnight and told him that the lanai was flooding and it was fixing to come into our house.  Gordon got up and grabbed our big sweep broom from the garage and swept the water off our lanai all night long, otherwise it would have come into our home and ruined everything.


Gordon Sweeping Water off our Lanai

We do have a pump, however when the electricity went out the pump quit working and the flooding began!


Our Lovely Bathroom by Candlelight and Weather Radio

This is the lighting in our bathroom at night.  After this I totally understand the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise.”  Because otherwise you can’t see to do anything.  I also totally understand the importance of “Daylight Savings Time.”  Without electricity, you revolve your entire life around daylight.


The Aftermath

Our Pump

The first thing I looked at when I woke up was our lanai.  Gordon managed to keep it swept off and manually made sure it went down that drain and into our yard.  Our retaining walls actually helped to keep that water back as well.

Our Backyard

The backyard was what I noticed first.  The fountains weren’t blown apart by Irma, Gordon had disassembled them prior to Irma.

Our Tadpoles Made it Through

(At least, most of them.)

Our Bat House Made it Through

(Although you can see our neighbor’s tree branch hanging by a thread in the background.)


Then I Decided to View the Front Yard

My View as I Emerge

Our House

We had a few downed branches but no damage to our roof.

Luckily for us we got that new roof almost 2 years ago.  It can withstand up to 150 MPH winds.

Gordon Dragging a Branch to the Curb

Made it Through, Made it Through

Gordon was happy his curry plant made it through. 

The world can relax now.

The Only Two Lanai Flip Flops I Have Left

Gordon swept the other 2 away.  Oh, well.


The Neighborhood

All of our neighbor’s had downed branches.  The street was just littered!

Our Neighbor’s House

They said that they had slept in their closet all night because water was pouring into their bathroom.



We had no electricity, no air conditioner, we had to throw out 3 freezers full of food and all of our refrigerator foods as well.  The weather was so hot!  We had no warm water, only cold so we would work really hard outside and around the house so that when we took those ice cold showers they would feel good.  I had my hair up in a pony tail while I worked and sweat was dripping off the end of my pony tail.  How was that even possible seeing as how it was high on my head and not touching my neck or back?

We worked very hard cleaning up the yard and I even started washing our windows on the inside because there was nothing else to do. 

Gordon couldn’t remove the plywood from the windows because we had no electricity to run the drill and the batteries on the other one were low.  Oh, and that leads us to another story.  I present to you, the battery orgasm!  (And whatever you are thinking, it’s NOT that!)


The Battery Orgasm

Our batteries in some of our devices were getting low so Gordon asked where the batteries are so that he can replace a few things?  I told him that I have plenty of them in the laundry room in the cabinet above the dryer on the right side.  So, while I was in the kitchen I heard him call out to me that there aren’t any.  I assured him that there are plenty!  Whatever you need.  AA, AAA, C, D!  I commented to him that he was blind if he can’t see all those batteries that are in there!  That’s when he told me to come and look.  So, I did.  I opened the cabinet and they were gone!  Every single battery pack that I had purchased was gone!!  That’s when we looked at each other and said at the same time, “BRODIE!  Brodie took them!”  He is our main battery stealer! 

Last we heard on our weather radio that I had to keep cranking by hand every 5 minutes to keep the charge going, (p.s.  my right arm was ripped!), anyway, the news I kept hearing was that there would be people without power in Florida for weeks!  I cringed thinking that we would be all sweaty and nasty for WEEKS!  The power was out all over the Tampa Bay area and traffic lights weren’t working. 

There was lawlessness! 

There was price gouging!  The military/police were escorting gas tankers!

We needed batteries!!!

That’s when I remembered……………….Julie’s Junk Drawer, or as I like to call it………….Julie’s Junque Drawer!

I told Gordon that I know there are batteries in there!  That’s when he complained that the last time he went in that drawer he got cut by an exacto knife, stabbed by a thumb tack, and he’s pretty sure he needs a tetanus shot from that rusted nail that nicked him.  I believe I replied to that by saying something like, “Pussy!”

That’s when he dared me to go into the drawer for those batteries.  I told him that it will take both of us because it’s so full it’s jammed and items are even falling out of the back of the drawer into our cabinet below it.  So, we decided to do it together.  We didn’t realize it at the time but everyone in our neighborhood was outside working.  Raking leaves, gathering downed tree limbs, sweeping driveways and walk ways.  We had every window open without realizing how far our voices carried.  And we can talk LOUD sometimes.  So, our conversation went something like this……

Me:  Look, I need you to do this for me.  I’ll hold it open with my fingers but you need to put your hand in there as far as you can.  I know there is something jamming it in the back.  So, stick your hand in there now. 

Julie’s Junque Drawer

Gordon:  I’ve got my whole hand in there and I don’t feel anything.

Me:  No, that’s not far enough.  You need to keep going!  Further!  Come on!  Can you feel it now?  Stick your whole arm in there!  I’m holding it open for you!  There!  Do you feel them? 

Gordon:  I feel something smooth and elongated.  And with a tip at the end!

Me:  You’ve got it!  Now pull it out!  Slowly, I don’t want you to hurt your wrist.  Do you feel anymore of them?  I know there are a more in there.  Pull them all out!  Come on!  I can only hold this open for so long.  OMG!  YES!  Great!  You’re doing it!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  That’s it!  Look how many we have now! 

Every one of these batteries was in that drawer!

I Knew It!!


See!  I told you!  Look at all of it! 

Now, aren’t you glad I had you do it?  And it didn’t hurt, did it?  See!  You aren’t cut or anything.  I told you!!


Right after we retrieved the batteries from “Julie’s Junque Drawer”, Gordon went outside to finish raking all the yard debris.  That’s when he noticed that every man out there stopped what they were doing when Gordon came outside and they looked at him.  Some even remarked, ‘Isn’t it a bit hot today to be doing that?  I know it’s sweltering in our house.’  That’s when he realized that the entire neighborhood thinks that we were having sex in the kitchen! 

I noticed that Gordon immediately came back inside with this weird expression on his face.  I asked him what was wrong?  He then told me…..

Me:  OMG!  You get out there and tell them that we weren’t having sex!  Go!  Now!  Just tell them we were looking for batteries!  OMG!  I am so embarrassed!!!  GO!!!

Gordon did go back outside but he never said a word to the neighbors.  Instead, his posture straightened, he sucked in his tummy, flexed his muscles, and raked, and raked, and raked, with a satisfied smile on his face. 

Me:  When he came back inside:  “Bastard!!!”


Waiting for the Power to Come Back On!

Gordon missed about a week’s worth of work.  Where he works didn’t have electricity for a week.  Luckily they paid him even though he wasn’t working.  I didn’t have to worry about checking anyone into the condo at that time so I was focused on our home.

Gordon Making Us Greek Coffee on the Grill

Best Coffee Ever!

My Morning’s Consisted of Coffee and the Emergency Radio


Breakfast on the Grill

Coffee in Disney Coffee Cups

Making Leftovers for Breakfast

Red Potatoes for Breakfast

Just add some olive oil and salt and pepper.

Adding Egg Beaters to a pan with some Turmeric and olive oil. 

Julie’s Eggs

Gordon’s Eggs Require a bit More

I’m Sharing My Eggs w/ Monk

Gordon Tossing His Eggs

Gordon’s Omelet


After 64 hours we finally got our electricity back on.  Our air conditioner lasted two days before it quit on us and we had to call in a repairman.  He fixed it for under $500.00.  We’ve been running smoothly since then.  I just wish that everyone could say that. 

To all those still affected by hurricane’s,


And we didn’t have it half as bad as you!



August 31, 2017

I’ve done a bit of Empath blogging:

I Am an Empath

I would love for you to check it out. 

Just click on the ‘I Am an Empath’ and scroll down to the bottom. 



p.s.  Don’t think about it too much.  My ears are ringing enough as it is.  🙂


August 21, 2017

(Written to me by my brother Johnny via Twitter messaging about my niece Kate.)

Trinity College

Yes, the most prestigious college in Ireland. Look it up, very old and historical. You can’t understand how much of an achievement this was. Well off people would pay big money for these results. You have to get the marks to get accepted here. A standard exam for the whole country. Kate got 540 out of 600. The average is below 400. No one with money would send their kid to her high school because it’s not really pre-college. They also pay a fortune for private lessons and make their kid study for months with no life. It will kill the snobs that my kid went to a lowly ‘tech’ high school and got such results.

Johnny Lancaster

Congrats to my niece Kate!

Aunt Julie


July 23, 2017

My Favorite Dog Biscuits

O.K. so they aren’t actual dog biscuits.  But they look like dog biscuits.  Either way, these are the best!  My new favorite thing!  I cannot get enough of the fennel ones, and I HATE fennel!  Go figure?

Had to advertise!



July 13, 2017

My Monkee and Me


My Messy Area

Ever since Sugar died Monk spends a lot of time at my feet.  He’s getting better but I know he misses his Sugar.  We all do! 

Looks like it’s back to the 3 of us.  Me, Gordon, and Monk.

Monk is 14 and in good health for an old dog who’s lifespan is 14.  It really does matter what foods you eat growing up.  Sugar was in really poor health at 14 and she was fed crap by her previous owner’s.  Monk however, was owned by breeders and groomers so he is in pretty good health and doing well.  Although we have never viewed us as owning them, they are part of the family.  Or rather Sugar was.  Still in our hearts though.



July 11, 2017

Over The Weekend

I promise this isn’t ‘Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.’

But, this is me trying to bury my Mormon post below.  So I am stacking this blog entry with photos of me from the photo shoot from over the weekend.  Hey, those Mormon’s are mean and they will come after me!

Looky, looky, Julie with dessert!

My Legs are KILLING me!

Do you know how hard it is to hover??  These photos originated from my wanting to fit me, and my summer shortcakes into the profile header on Twitter.  So I told Gordon to photograph me bending down over the food. 

I might as well just be laying down on the table, it would have been more comfortable.

HEY y’all!

This Entire Photo Shoot is all Because of This Tin Cup.

(That, and two Elvis Presley bags of coffee.  One peanut butter/banana, and one Hawaiian.  Looks like Elvis and I had a lot in common.  Both southerner’s and fell in love with Hawaii.)

I saw that tin cup at Tuesday Morning and fell in love with it.  I am from the south after all.  Y’all is what I grew up saying, and still do sometimes.

Iced Tea, Strawberry’s and Purslane

There was originally ice in the iced tea but it’s so hot outside that it melted quicker than anything.

In the south we take our tea, sweetened, or unsweetened.  I always took mine, unsweetened.  To me iced tea was wonderful just the way that it was.  I never needed any sugar or sweetener, just tea over ice.


Julie’s Summer Shortcakes

Strawberry, Pineapple, Mangosteen, Purlane Shortcakes

I seem to be gravitating back toward my roots where food is concerned, and even in other areas as well.

I look around at all the overweight American’s with all of our chemicals and hormones in our food, and then I look back at old movies, that I love so much, and I see such a difference.  All these actresses have such small waists and slim figures.  I also remember back to my youth where overweight people were rare. 

When I grew up we ate plain food.  Plain food was tasty, healthy, and non-fattening.  Now we eat food that is loaded with everything because for some reason we have to outdo the ‘other guy.’  We have to create something special, and different and loaded with this and that.  So I just want to gravitate back to the simple, yet tasty foods that I grew up with.  They weren’t anything fancy.  Yet they were perfect just how they were.

So, I wanted to create my own little summer shortcakes, but with some simple added ingredients as well.

Purslane, an Edible Flowering Weed

Look how beautiful!

We may be trying to keep our food a bit simple but we also want to update it so that it can be healthy, as well.


The Health Benefits of Purslane are Extensive

I have been using it on many of our foods, my summer shortcakes, included.

They are not only beautiful, they are healthy as well.

My Red Roses

Just something pretty to add to the photo shoot.

All righty then, well, I’ll leave you with me eating one of my shortcakes seductively. 

It was a request from Gordon.  Need I say more??

Hey, at least I buried the Mormon thing.




July 7, 2017

Me, 1995, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

(I will explain later in the post why I posted this photo of me.)


Remember the Twilight series of books and movies by Stephanie Meyer?  They’ve been on t.v. a lot lately over the past week.  There were 4 original books which were turned into 5 movies.  They starred Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, along with an additional cast of characters. 

The Love Triangle

I read that Stephanie Meyer had a dream about a girl having a conversation in a field with a vampire.  The dream was so vivid to her that she wanted to write about it, so she did.  That is where her book actually started, in the middle.  I believe she wrote the first book, Forks, which publishers insisted that she title it, Twilight.  She started writing Forks from the middle of the story, to the end.  She then had to go back and write a beginning.  I find that interesting.  Starting a story in the middle and not the beginning, like you would assume a story would begin.  But yet that somehow makes perfect sense.

Stephanie Meyer’s Dream

When she first sent her story into a publisher, it wasn’t even finished.  She sent in what she had.  Apparently, no one was interested in her partial manuscript and were going to reject it until a secretary took notice of it and loved it.  The secretary is the one that pushed it through to be published.  She wrote Stephanie asking for more of the story because SHE was interested, not the publishers.  So, Stephanie sent in more, and the rest is history.  But no one would even know of Bella, Edward, and Jacob and the entire saga if it weren’t for a secretary.  Which makes me wonder, how many great novels out there are rejected because publishers aren’t interested?  How many great stories will we never hear of because they may be different from what a publishing house is used to publishing? 

I’m not really writing this to get into any of that.  Nor was I some great fan of the Twilight series.

Kristin Stewart as Bella Swan

  I objected to the fact that the main character, Bella was so weak and suicidal when Edward broke up with her.

(I don’t admire people that are weak and needy, I feel sorry for them and want them to get help.)


Most of the time I go my separate way from most people.  I tend to avoid trends and whatever is popular and in style and I just go with whatever I want to.  But every now and then something will come along where everyone is into it and that is when I want to do what everyone else is doing.  I’m that way with the Super Bowl as well.  I HATE football!!  There, I said it!  But every Super Bowl Sunday I want to watch it.  I want to be a part of something larger than myself.  That is how I tackled the Twilight series.  I knew so many people that were reading the novels so I went out and bought all of them.  I also watched the movies.  I really do like the first movie, Twilight.  But the rest of them I just don’t care for.  And to tell you the truth, I think the only reason I like the first one is because of the music.  Not just the hit songs but the background music.  I like background music and this was really good!

The reason that I am writing this isn’t really to talk about any of the story itself.  What I see when I watch the movies and I did read almost 2 of the books, is that Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism screams loud and clear to me!  Stephanie Meyer is a Mormon and it is extremely obvious to me in her stories.  I’ve mentioned this to people and they are puzzled by what I am saying.  I’ve even pointed out some examples, which I am going to do here right now. 


First of all, the Twilight series targets 12 year old girls and 35 year old women. 

12 year old girls want to be Bella.  35 year old women wish they had been Bella. 


Hence, the target audience.  This age group will spend a lot of money for this romance and marketers know it!  So right there most of you are being profiled, targeted and manipulated.  Are you fine with that?

I’m not here to praise Stephanie Meyer, or here to trash her, but to write what I see in the books and movies and point it out to you so that maybe you might see it to.

The Cullen’s

I have to admit up front that I did read the first book, Twilight, only to be disappointed in it.  It read like an old Nancy Drew book to me.  (Although I LOVE Nancy Drew.)  Reading things like, ‘I gulped, then swallowed my apple.’  Or something to that effect.  To me I was reading some middle school romance novel. 

I did start the second book, New Moon, in the hopes that it would be better.  It probably was but yet I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it.  I stopped at the last 100 pages.  I was so bored! 

I suppose that I should better admit that it wasn’t that I was so bored, it was that I just couldn’t stand to read anymore of Stephanie Meyer’s Mormonism.  So I stopped reading. 

You see, I know quite a bit about the Mormon Church and it’s teachings.  My step-brother is a Mormon.  (Didn’t know I had a step-brother, did you?)  ?  Also, I lived as a Mormon for a year.  (Surprise!!)

Me, age 23

Yes, I was a Mormon for 1 year.  Hey, at least I got out after that.  Some people take decades before they can get out.  So as someone that lived as one of them, I can tell you that the Twilight series is loaded with Mormonism.  And if you think about it, why wouldn’t it be?  After all, it’s author, Stephanie Meyer, is a Mormon.

In the Mormon Church young people are encouraged to marry young and start families.  After all, giving birth is how you spread religion.  Think about it, the Mormon Church is only a few hundred years old yet it has a worldwide following.  It’s because they had all those wives, giving birth to all those babies.  Polygamy and no birth control is how to spread a religion.  Also sending out missionaries all over the world doesn’t hurt. 

In one of the movies, I don’t remember the title, but Bella and Edward marry right after High School.  Because Mormon’s start having children so young, you can look at a family photo of a Mormon family with their children all grown up and you have a hard time distinguishing who are the parents, and who are the children? 

The Cullen Family

(Now tell me, if you had never seen any of them before, which are the parents?  And the children?)

Another point that I wanted to make is that Mormon’s are taught to not have anything to do with non-Mormon’s.  So it would explain why the Cullen children don’t mix with any of the “human’s” at Forks High School.  They stick to themselves.  Yet, remember when the bad vampires came through Forks?  Doing their killing of humans?  The Cullen’s may not have liked them but they were going to play baseball with them.  Remember?

The Cullen’s and the Vampires

They view the mean vampires as their equals, but not the humans, the (non-Mormons.)

The Cullen’s also see themselves as superior as they live in a world that humans are unaware of.  That’s how Mormon’s see life.  They believe that they have been given all the answers of life and other people are non-enlightened with this lack of information.  They believe that we all once lived in heaven together and that we come to Earth to gain a body and develop faith.  (But we are see-through in heaven, hence why we need a body.)  Then when we die, and we are reunited in heaven with our loved ones, but only if we are sealed together here on Earth, by the Mormon church in the Mormon temple.  But when someone converts to the Mormon church you do leave behind your old life.  If you notice, Edward keeps telling Bella that she has to say goodby to her father Charlie and her mother as she was to convert and become a vampire.  Only in certain religions do you have to say goodbye to your family.  And why is that anyway?


The Volturi

If you are familiar with the saga then you know of the Volturi?  They are the leadership of all the vampires.  Kind of like the royal family, the most powerful coven.  They enforce the laws. 

The Mormons have their modern day profit that lives in Utah, along with his elders.  They are the power behind the Mormon Church.  Just as the Pope and The Vatican are to Catholics.  Didn’t know they had a profit, did you? 

The Mormon’s also believe that after they die and are descended into heaven that no matter what age they are when they die, they will be at their prime in heaven.  Whatever age that is.  When you look at the Cullen’s, they are dead, as they are vampires, yet they are all young and beautiful and in their “prime.”

In the very last movie when the Cullen’s and their vampire allies are facing the Volturi and their allies, Alice Cullen found a half human/vampire to bear witness to Aro, the leader of the Volturi, to convince him that Bella and Edward’s daughter, Renesme, (who is also half human/vampire) was no threat to any of them.  Alice produced a male, and his aunt.  The man said that a vampire seduced his mother and got her pregnant.  She died giving birth to him.  He also said that he reached full adult age by 7, and that he was 150 years old. 

Again, the youthfulness of an old person.  Mormon’s see themselves as being young and beautiful forever, or as they like to say, “For all time and eternity.”

Another thing the Mormon’s believe is that if you die before age 8 then you go straight to the Celestial Kingdom.  But anything you do after age 8 you will be held accountable for.

The man in the photo above said that he reached full adulthood by age 7.  Again, everything he did prior to that age he is forgiven for.

Also, when the Cullen’s knew the Volturi were coming for them they went out and recruited some of their other vampire friends for help in order to ‘bear witness.’  Again, more religious terminology. 

Even when Bella was pregnant with Reneseme and the baby was killing her, she still wanted to go through with the pregnancy because after all every baby is a gift from God.  At least they think so.  They see it as their duty to bring into this Earth as many spirits/babies as they can.  It’s their duty to God.  That’s why most Mormon’s have an average of 3-4 children.  But you also have many families like the Osmond’s with multiple children. 


Speaking of Marie Osmond……..

Donny and Marie Osmond in Goin’ Coconuts

(I should steal that movie title sometime.)

The Osmond’s are probably the most famous of all the Mormon families.  In the summer 1978 my family rented an RV and we drove cross country, mainly headed out west.  We drove from North Carolina where we were living, to Texas, (my step-father’s home), then onto Arizona, Utah, etc.  I was accidentally left at a gas station in Texas, took them an hour before they realized I wasn’t on board.  Only then did they come back for me.  (At least they said it was an accident.)

We picked up my step-brother in Texas and drove him to where he would be going to college, Brigham Young University, in Utah.  We also got to tour the Osmond Studios in Provo, I believe it was Provo.  This is when the Osmond’s were at their height of popularity.  I myself even had a “Marie” haircut.

(But I also had the Dorothy Hamil haircut at one time as well.)

Me, Grand Canyon 1978

When we toured the Osmond Studios that summer and I had just signed the guest book, my step-brother turned to me and said, “If someone grabs you and say’s ‘hurry Marie you’re late for rehearsal’ , don’t say anything, just go!”


Marie Osmond and Steven Craig

(First, and 3rd. marraige for her)

Marie married her first husband, Steven Craig when they were young.  She had a temple wedding, as most devout Mormon’s do.  They had only one child together.  They weren’t married very long before she divorced him for his ‘extra curricular activities.’  Ahem. 

At their wedding they were ‘sealed together for all time and eternity,’ but she was able to get unsealed from him. 

Marie with Second Husband Brian Blosil

She then married a man named Brian Blosil whom she became “sealed” to.  They had 7 children together.  Some children were adopted.  Then when she divorced him she was able to become “unsealed.”  Lastly, she remarried her first husband who she was able to become “sealed” to once more. 

Marie is known as the “Ziplock Baggie” in Mormon circles.  As she’s been sealed, unsealed, sealed, unsealed, and sealed again.

When Mormon’s marry in the temple there are mirrors on the side of the bride and the groom that reflect off each other symbolizing eternity.  Hence, marry for all time and eternity, their motto.  Except in Marie’s case, of course.  🙂


The Mormon’s refer to themselves as LDS, Latter Day Saints.  The full name of the church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  But I can attest that they aren’t Christian.  They elude to the Christian teachings but they aren’t Christian.  They do go by The Book of Mormon, and The Bible.  They say the two are a companion.  The Mormon’s have a history of persecution, although their history shows a very violent past of their own.  The Mountain Meadows Massacre comes to mind.  But when people want to fit in, they change their names.  The Indian nations people changed their names from things like, Running Bear, to Jackson.  When African-American’s were liberated in the Great Emancipation on September 22, 1862, a lot of them chose the name of Washington as to fit in and hopefully be excepted.  If people do this then organizations do it too.  Even religions.  So, what better name than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.? And they do consider themselves, “saints.”

Their profit, Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church is their Jesus.  He claimed the angel Moroni brought down the gold plates, a.k.a., The Book of Mormon, which is where they get all their teachings from.


Doctors have diagnosed Joseph Smith through his writings and have determined that he was a paranoid schizophrenic.  But I’m really not here to get into all that.  What I did want to point out is how disturbed I am by things in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series that are very Mormon in nature.


Jacob and Renesme

Bella, Renesme, Edward, and Jacob

(Jacob reminds me of the creepy friend that wants to babysit your daughter for free all the time.)

The relationship between Jacob and Renesme is the most disturbing to me.  Jacob had been in love with Bella but she married Edward and went on to become pregnant.  She actually died in childbirth but Edward was able to turn her into a vampire so she was “re-born.”  The conversion complete. 

When Jacob heard that Bella had died he was so angry that he was going to kill the baby, Renesme.  But one look at her and he imprinted on her.  Ah, he discovered his soul mate.


A boy in his late teens see’s his soul mate in a newborn baby?  Yuck!  And highly disturbing. 

Oh, the movie makes it out like it’s so sweet, beautiful, and natural for a young man to bond with a small child. 


What this reminds me of are the polygamist Mormon’s that live on those compounds and pick out which of the new born babies they want to marry when the child gets older.  The Mormon leader Warren Jeffs was marrying children as young as 14 to be his brides. 

Oh, and all Mormon’s believe in polygamy.  They may say they don’t, but they do.  There is polygamy in their temple sealings.  Men can be sealed to more than one woman, but women can’t.  So men can have several wives in heaven but women can’t have more than one husband.  So yes, they do believe in polygamy and they do practice it even though they may only be married to one woman at a time.  I’m not referring to practicing compound polygamist here.


Another part that is disturbing to me is when Bella and Edward are on their honeymoon, because Edward is a vampire and much stronger than Bella, she ends up with bruises on her body.  He sees them, and is concerned, but she tells him not to worry about it that’s it’s o.k.  That reminds me of an abusive relationship where the woman is beaten but the husband feels bad about it the next day and is apologizing but the woman tells him it’s o.k., don’t worry about it, I know you didn’t do it on purpose.  That’s very sick and dysfunctional to excuse any sort of abusive behavior.

Basically eluding that women should just put up with this sort of behavior.

There are many more similarities that I see in these stories in relation to the Mormon Church but if I name all of them I’ll be typing this all day.


  It bothers me that young girls and women watch these movies and envy Bella, and want to be like Bella. Which brings me to why I posted the photo from above in the first place.


I’ve actually been Bella a few times in my life.  The triangle, the drama, the stalking, the upset, the arguing, the hurt.  It’s not romantic.  It’s sad and tragic.  It’s also not healthy.

It’s easy to envy someone when you have no Earthly idea what it’s really like to be them.  But if you were to know, you might find out that it’s not that great. Appreciate the life you have, it’s probably better than you realize.


Julie and Gordon Prom 1983

(Gordon’s prom)

I’ve come to realized that I like boring, I like sameness, I like everyday, I like aging, I like me!


Me, 1982

Amy Fletcher, ’82

Amy Fletcher was a Mormon friend that I had who’s family was very nice to me.  They sort of took me under their wings and looked out for me when I really didn’t have anyone else.  I was living in Charlotte at that time with my modeling agent.  A woman!  And her family.  I was doing some modeling jobs but they were few and far between.  You can’t really make a living off being a model unless you’re some big name in New York.  Libby was very good to me and I appreciated her as well. 

But, getting back to my portrait above.  Amy called me one day and asked if she could come over to see me?  I told her yes.  She brought over her art supplies and asked if she could draw me?  Of course, I said yes.  When she finished she gave it to me.  I’ve treasured it ever since.


I believe that people should be allowed to believe whatever they want to and to worship, or not, however they want to.  But I do object to the recruiting, harassment, and other manipulative tactics that religions use to gain members.  In order for me to get away permanently from the Mormon’s I had to be ex-communicated from their church.  When they found me here in Florida they were coming to my door on a weekly basis.  I asked them to stop, but they said they couldn’t.  It took me 2 months to get rid of them.  Gordon was working overseas for 6 months at the time in a hostile country and of course this would happen when it’s just me to deal with it. 

I do believe that government’s should intervene when children are being abused or neglected on compounds and being forced to marry old men. 

I will tell you this.  The Mormon Church is baptizing all of you without your even knowing it.  Yes that’s right!  You just might be a Mormon and not even know it.  🙂

The Mormon’s have the most accurate genealogical records of anywhere in the world.  They collect information on you, and your family members.  They then have proxy baptisms where they baptize people.  My step-brother used to do it all the time.   I even read somewhere a few years ago that they were being sued over it. 

For All Time and Eternity……



Happy Birthday To Bare Foot In Florida With Julie

We are 6 Years Old Now

July 6, 2017

Celebrating with some Barefoot Spritzer’s

This outdoor sink was one of Gordon’s projects he installed for our backyard that is featured on our website.

When it’s not holding our refreshments it is also a working fountain.

Gordon the Goof!  Gotta love him!


July 6, 2017

I Miss Blogging, and Thank You for Missing Me!

Today is my daughter, Veronica’s 30th. birthday!

Veronica and Julie, 4th. of July Celebration

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  It’s not that I have nothing to say, I always do.  ?  But I’ve just been wanting to do more things for the website, and for us at home, and at the condo.  So many blog posts to create and work on, and so little time to do it in.  My website is my creative outlet and I feel this need to create every day in one way or another.  I have so many ideas in my head that I want to implement but there just aren’t enough days of the year for me to do them in.  I can relate to something that Prince once said.  He said that he has so many songs in his head that in order to get them out he has to write them down otherwise he would go crazy, only then do they go away.  That’s me!  Except it’s with all kinds of things.  Once I do that blog page on whatever topic, it leaves my head and I can then go onto the next 50 things that are rattling around in there. 

I’ve heard that Prince has thousands of songs in his vault.  I can also relate to that as I have projects that we have photographed and worked on that I just haven’t gotten to yet. 

One thing is for sure, I don’t have cobwebs in there.

I have to say that 2017 has not been a good year for me, but regardless, It’s still been a good year. 

I guess that my attitude has something to do with that.  For some reason, I’m still happy and still positive.  To start off with, we lost our fish, Tasso in early January.  Yeah, I know, he was just a fish.  But he was a fish with a happy personality that liked us all and enjoyed watching us.  He was a nice fish!  He was so happy in his bowl.  He liked being a part of our family.  We know this, he proved it to us all the time.

January 20, 2017 was a very sad day when Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States.  GOD, it’s so hard to say that!  I was even sick when he was sworn in.  I’m rarely sick but yet it was somehow appropriate. 

So moving on……

Then, in late January my friend Trish died of colon cancer.  She literally was diagnosed around Thanksgiving and then she died in late January.  It broke my heart to lose her.  I still miss her and think about her.  She was a positive influence on so many people, especially me.  Losing her was very tragic for me and I don’t think that at my age you get over losing wonderful people. 

Trish, Cooking in her Kitchen in New Zealand


On January 31, I took a tumble over the dog gate and severely sprained my knee.  I was in excruciating pain for at least a week.  I was incapacitated for at least a month, with limping and crutches that went on for two months off and on.  I did my research online and found out that someone with a severe knee sprain can take up to 10 weeks to 8 months for it to heal.  I’m just now feeling as if I am back to normal.  That’s 4 months later. 


Veronica and Brian gave us one of their betta fish that was so stressed out, which we named Jose Gaspar after the pirate that invaded Tampa on his ship, The Gasparilla.  Hence, the Tampa celebration of Gasparilla. 

Jose Gaspar and His Tank

When we got Jose

When we first got him he was so used to hiding that I mentioned to Gordon that we should have named him Bigfoot, as we rarely have sightings of him.   He was hiding all the time because Veronica and Brian had him so close to another betta in an additional tank that he was stressed all the time and used to hiding.  His fins were so tattered due to the environment that they kept him in.  Lots of rough coral and rocks.  We provided him with a nice soft sandy bottom, a nice big rock to hide in,  etc.  After a couple of days when he realized that he wasn’t in any danger, he was the happiest fish!  He quit hiding and was swimming around constantly.  Greeting us when we would walk by.  He was the friendliest fish! 

Then one day he had this fungus on him.  We went to the pet store to buy what we needed to treat him.  He did get better but then suddenly took a turn for the worst and died.  I was so sad to lose him because he was such a sweet, happy little fish.  We will get another betta but that’s not the point.  Yet another sad thing to happen this year. 

Julie and Sugar, 2017

Our dog Sugar died on June 19th.  She was 14 and it was her time but we laid to rest the sweetest dog in the world.  When we adopted her about 9 years ago no one wanted her.  She was fat, unhealthy, and not too good looking.  She was discounted in price.  But we saw the dog that she really was.  The diamond in the rough.  The sweetest dog in the world.  We gave her a good home.  She in return gave us unconditional love and loyalty.  We deserved her because we appreciated her.  And she in turn appreciated us.  She is buried in our backyard in a section of the yard that I want to transform into an Alice in Wonderland section.  Nothing too grand, just my homage to the story, and to Sugar. 

There are also a few more sad things to have happened this year but I cannot think of them now.  Perhaps I will remember later on and add to this post.  Perhaps that is a good thing that I can’t recall them right now.  The beauty of aging.  🙂

I do know that when I look in the mirror, I like what I see.  Even when I have just woken up and I look into the mirror, I still like what I see.  Of course, I’m not some beautiful creature in the morning.  But that doesn’t matter to me.  I like the person that I am looking at no matter how badly that I may look.  I have evolved.  I’m so proud of that.  I’m so happy about that. 

I wish that all of you could see what I see, and feel what I feel.  But I believe that is something that you have to discover on your own.

I truly want the best for you.  I believe that we all have the capacity to have the best in us.  That is my wish for you.





Sugar Whann

I wrote a very nice write up for Sugar’s passing:

Click here:

Monk and Sugar Blogging

I’m very proud that Monk and I were with her till the end.  She died wagging her tail. 

How many of us are happy on the day of our passing?  Sugar was.



June 4, 2017

Getting Ready for the 4th.

Here is a hint.  And no, nothing to do with peanut butter.  It’s all about DICK!

You’ll see.

Anyway, I had been begging my mother to send me photos of my days in the 70’s during the Nixon Impeachment.  I can remember watching the hearings on t.v. at school when we were living in Roanoke, Virginia.   I remember that time very well.  I also can’t help but compare the Nixon era to the Trump era.  So with that in mind……..

Stay Tuned!

My mother did send copies of her videos that she took of us while growing up so I did hit the pause button while I watched the DVD’s, and took photographs but they aren’t very good.  But one thing I do see when I watched the old home movies.

I Miss This Girl!

That girl is ME!



April 8, 2017

Back to the Condo


Lunch at the Condo

If you have been reading my blog then you know that I had a severe sprain to my knee back on January 31st.  Luckily, I had checked into the condo my long term winter renters and therefor I didn’t need to worry about the management of the condo for a few months.  Well, they checked out today and Gordon and I drove out to Indian Shores to prepare the condo for the renters that checked in today.  It was a lot of work but Gordon and I always make the best of it.  After all that condo cleaning work, we love to visit our favorite stores out in the area. 


I prefer to bring my lunch when I head out to the condo.  It saves on the calories, if you know what I mean?  And besides, what we prepare for ourselves is usually better than what we buy in restaurants.  Really!

We did manage to make it to our favorite Asian supermarket today and spent a small fortune.

Julie Asian supermarket Seminole

Gordon Scanning the Herbs


Here is an example of the price difference at your local ethnic markets:


The Asian store chops off the stem of the broccoli so that you get just the part that you want.  By doing so it is cheaper for you.  In other supermarkets you are paying for that stem so that it will weigh more.  Get it?  Here you just get the part you will eat as opposed to having the buy a large part that you won’t eat.



I Love All the Asian Store Goodies

Everything is so Beautiful!


The Contents of our Cart

We spent a good $250.00 dollars here.  Can’t wait to prepare all of our delicious Asian dishes.

I will be bringing the rest of this write up to my:

Check it out as I have started my 2017 Beach Blogging.

Julie Beach Blogging





On the Way Home Now




April 7, 2017

Aloha Friday


Shaka Friday_small

It’s Friday and I’m Day Dreaming….

I have this fantasy that someday, some descendant of mine, whether it be a great-granddaughter, or a great- grand niece, or even a great-grand gay nephew, is going to come across some of my website photos and ask his/her parents, “Who is that magnificent creature?  WOW!  She is amazing!  Who is she?” 

And the reply will be, “Oh, that is your Great-Aunt Julie.  She was really something!  She is where we get our talent and creativity from.  To know her, was to love her!  I’m surprised you haven’t heard of her as she was such a legend in the family.  It shook us all to our core when she passed. 

To follow in her footsteps is an honor, that is why it’s said in our family, “WWJD, What Would Julie Do?”

O.k.  That is my fantasy, now for the nightmare reality:

“Hey Dad!  I just found these photos of this woman wearing some costume, kind of looks like Alice in Wonderland except as an old lady!  Who is she?  God is she ever old!”

“Oh, um, that’s um, (turning toward kitchen and yelling), Hey Hon!  I thought you said you got rid of all those photos of your Aunt Julie?  Steve just found these!  What am I supposed to tell him????”  (Most gay man are named Steve, Jeff or Rod.  So…..)

“OMG!  Did I miss some?  I thought I destroyed all of them!”

Father turning toward Steve, “Give me those!  Uh, we don’t talk about her son.  She uh, she, she was never right in the head.  If you know what I mean?  None of us like to talk about her.  So, just give me those photos and forget about her.  Understand?  It’s for the best.  Hey, always remember that we love you and that you can’t help where you come from.  Got that son?”

THAT is probably how it will go.  Oh well, their loss!  Hey, I’ll be dead by then so what will I care?  🙂


Julie and Gordon tea_small

But know this:  I will haunt his ass!

No gay relative of mine is going to diss me!


April 5, 2017

Nigella’s New Book


At My Table

I am looking forward to it.  It’ll be out this autumn.  Looks like she’s “breaking bread” all over the counter.  But from the cover it looks like to me that she’s back to the old Nigella style, nothing wrong with that.

Can’t Wait!



April 3, 2017

Oh, I’m Nobody

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Shooting our Alice in Wonderland Easter

We just finished shooting our first weekend of our Alice in Wonderland Easter.  We focused on the Tea Party scene, as that is classic Alice in Wonderland, and what most people associate the story with.  It was a lot of fun to plan, organize, shop for, cook for, prepare for, decorate for, dress up for, and to finally implement.  This has been a project that I have been wanting to work on for over a year now.  I started scouring thrift stores back then as well, looking for some nice appropriate things that we could use that weren’t that expensive.  We also already had a bit of an Alice in Wonderland Easter collection as it was that we were able to use.  It doesn’t take a lot of money to create something grand, it just takes an imagination and some work on your part. 

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Julie and Gordon Tea Party

When I started this website almost 6 years ago, I really didn’t know where I wanted it to go or even what I would do with it, but I just knew that I wanted to do something creative that would grow and evolve over time.  If you know anything about me know this, I tend to just dive in to whatever new thing I do without any knowledge, and I just learn as I go.  I would like to think that our website has become better over time.  I know that I have become a better writer, speller, story teller, photographer, and editor. 

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Me, Reading Alice in Wonderland

Whenever I talk to someone that doesn’t know me personally but has looked at the website, I always seem to get asked, “Are you an actress?”  My usual response is, “Oh, I’m nobody.  I just have a website.”  I know where they are going with this line of questioning?  When they ask me if I am an actress what they want to know is, ‘what t.v. show, or movie was I in?’  And if I say, ‘None.’  Then they view me as a “nobody.”  So I tend to just cut to the chase and respond to them with what will make sense to them. 

When I am out at our thrift stores in Sun City and I find so many lovely things for my projects I always seem to get asked by the lovely seniors that ring up my purchases, “Do you stage houses?”  I always respond, “No, I just have a website.”

I also get asked, “Do you have a store?”  “Do you deal in antiques?”  “Are you a decorator?”  “Are you a designer?” 

My response to all of the above is usually, “Oh no, I’m nobody.  I just have a website.”

I say these things for their benefit, not mine. 

It doesn’t matter to me what any of these people think of me.  And to tell you the truth, I don’t even know what I am myself?

I remember my mother telling me that my step-father would remark to my mother, ‘I know that Julie is loaded with talent, the thing is, I don’t know what that talent is?’

THAT is exactly how I have always seen myself.

I know that I am loaded with talent, I just don’t know what that talent is? 

I am hoping that my website will guide me there.

Julie and Gordon Hatter_small Julie and Gordon tea_small

Julie and Gordon as Alice and Hatter

I do know that my website has taken me places that I could not have reached on my own. 

You know, it really doesn’t matter what is in anyone else’s head, it only matter’s what’s in our own.  We cannot control what other people think, but we can control how we think.  If you were to take 100 people and line them up in a row, you would find that only 5-6 % were above average, and 5-6% were below average, and everyone else would be “average.” 

Average is neither smart nor dumb, that is why they are called “average.”

To me being average is nothing to brag about.  I have never had any desire to be “average.”  I have never been impressed with anyone that is “average.”  So look at the numbers:  The majority of people are average. So with that in mind, why care what some average person thinks of you?  I do however, care what an above average person thinks of me.  I also care about what some below average person thinks of me.  But average?  Nothing to brag about.

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The Key’s and Eat Me Cake’s

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Shrinking and Growing

Just as Alice had a world that she would retreat to in Wonderland, so can you.  All that matters is what is in your own mind.  The point that I am trying to reach is that no matter what anyone say’s about you, all that matter’s is what you tell yourself.  There are so many yucky people out there.  Don’t let their yucky opinions influence you.  Don’t let them convince you that there is something wrong with you just because you think differently than they do.  You are a somebody whether anyone else see’s it or not.  You need to tune out the yucky opinions and allow in the good one’s.  You decide for yourself what you want to believe in and don’t let someone else tell you what you need to do or believe in. 

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So when someone asks me if I am an actress and I say “Oh, I’m a nobody.”  I don’t think that I am a nobody.  I KNOW that I am a somebody.  I know that I am smart, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, brilliant, talented, and about a million other things.  But to that person, I am a nobody.  Their loss.

Julie outside Alice_small

Happy Monday,



March 21, 2017

A Little Preview

I am working on our upcoming Alice In Wonderland and I have it sprawled all over the dining room trying to piece it together.  Even though these photos I’m putting together are in our dining room, the event will take place outside in our backyard.

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Alice Table_small Set table_small

More Alice_small

This will be a combination of my childhood Alice, Tim Burton’s Alice, as well as Easter.  I’m looking forward to it.  This is when I am at my happiest, planning something nice and creative, a combination of my childhood and adulthood, having all my materials spread all over the room, putting it all together.

I do realize that I am 56 and you may be thinking that I am just too old to be Alice?  Well, I’m senior citizen Alice that still has tea parties with her friends.  Remember, Alice believes in the impossible and therefore makes it possible.  🙂

Happy Day!



March 7, 2017

Alice in Wonderland

My vintage Alice_small

Here is a Sneak Peek into our Easter

My Alice teacups_small My Alice dishes_small

My Alice Cups and Saucers

I’m so happy that Easter is “late” this year, as in “I’m late for a very important date.”

I’ve wanted to do this for a few years now and finally this year it will happen. 

I adore Alice, I think this will be a lot of fun to do.  What I love the most about her is her imagination. 

Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Albert Einstein_small

Albert Einstein

(I don’t know why everyone always posts those old crazy hair photos of him.  He was once quite a handsome man.)


My Alices_small

A Few of My Alice Dolls

So this year I will get my tea party, my backyard game of croquet, I used to play all the time growing up with my family, and I will also get my outdoor Easter dinner.  It’ll be fun!

I’ll be honoring all the Alice’s. 

As an empath I know what it’s like to have one foot into one world, and the other into another.  Sometimes I feel as if I am Alice.

Have a nice week,


p.s.  I am doing much better with my sprained knee.  I am walking normally.  My knee is still a little swollen.  It does take a good 10 weeks to 8 months for a severe sprain to heal.  It’s been a little over a month for me now.  My knee is still a bit stiff and sore but I’m really happy with my progress.  Pretty good for a woman of 56.


February 23, 2017

Just Catching up and……..

Julie camera_small

My Letter to the Editor, March 28, 2008

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Rome News-Trubune


One of my Twitter followers posted this today:


If the first one makes you angry, but you’re okay with the other. . . Then it’s not about the flag. (Retweet if you agree.)


My response was this:

According to the flag code: “the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.” So looks like everyone is equally wrong.


That got me to thinking about a letter to the editor that I wrote in March 2008 to the Rome News Tribune, in Rome, Georgia.  The town I was born.  I wrote:

my letter to editor_small

Presidential Race Needs Issues Focus

I read Dick Polman’s guest column on my Rome hometown newspaper’s website on March 4, ( combating rumors about how the “right” perpetuates rumors that are not true about Barack Obama and criticizing him for not wearing a flag label pin all the time.

There is a notion in the south that if you fly the largest flag you are the most patriotic.  Some people do not flaunt patriotism by wearing American flags all over their clothing.  Too, the flag code states “the flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery.”  And it states, “The flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting image of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably a burning.”  So it could be argued that those who wear the American flag all over their clothing, and are against flag burning, are unpatriotic. 

Some of us wear our patriotism on the inside, and find more useful ways to show it.  We speak up when we see injustice, and ask questions when we see our government doing things that they shouldn’t be doing.  Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”  He also said, “If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves.  It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.”

Anther great patriot, Benjamin Franklin, said, “Make yourselves sheep and the wolves will eat you.”  And the republicans have been eating us alive for the past seven and a half years. 

So is it really all that important that Barack Obama didn’t wear a flag in?  Or that his middle name is Hussein?  If I could have chosen my own middle name, I wouldn’t have chosen, Ann.

Why don’t we make this next Presidential election about substance instead of choosing a President based on whom we would like to sit down a have a beer with?  I want a President who has better things to do than sit down and have a beer with me.

Julie Lancaster-Whann

V******, Florida


I can remember when I sent that letter in to the Rome News-Tribune that they called me on the phone wanting to know what connection that I possibly had with Rome?  I told them that I was born there, lived there growing up, lived there as an adult, and married there at Frost Chapel, Berry College.  Only then did they print my very “liberal” letter.  Rome is mostly a republican town.  Very much against my opinions.  So happy I no longer live there and I no longer know many people there.


p.s.  Oh, and as far as my knee is concerned, it is getting much better.  I am walking on it every day.  It tends to get stiff in the afternoon due to my moving about.  I don’t need crutches anymore, I am able to walk on it.  But it is still a bit swollen and a lot sore.  It will just take time to heal and I am taking it easy when necessary.


February 16, 2017

More Birthday Photos and a Happy Valentine’s Day

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A close up of my birthday cake and roses.  I love it and I’m so proud of it.

The rhinestone vintage jewelry I found at my favorite thrift stores and I had it lying on the table as I hadn’t put it away yet.  It was all still in the bag wrapped in kleenex.  So I unwrapped them and set them out on the coffee table my leg has been propped up on, see photo below.

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In the photo below Gordon is painting my toe nails for me.  I so wanted red toes for Valentine’s Day and because of my sprained knee I couldn’t do it myself.  So he did it for me.  That’s love!

Gordon painting my toes_small

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. 

Whether you have someone special in your life or not, treat yourself.  Don’t wait for someone to do it for you. 

Love yourself!

I care about you,



 February 13, 2017

Today I turn 56

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Happy Birthday to Me!

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As you may recall I wrote below about how I fell over the dog gate and sprained my knee.  It was a very bad sprain, but I was doing very well in my recovery for about a week.  Looks like I got too confident and I was on it too much one day and that set me back to crutches and a knee brace right now.  So, I am taking it easy, taking lots of breaks between just doing things around the house, so as not to overwork it.  I haven’t gone many places alone because it’s hard to get around.  I don’t have a handicapped sticker on my car, seeing as how normally I’m not handicapped, so I have to park far away.  Gordon has been a big help and he’s doing all the shopping.  But he is used to doing a lot of the shopping himself seeing as he works on the base, so he’s always running into the commissary and exchange for us.   I’m doing what I can around the house but I also have to prop my leg up several times a day.

I have decided that I am going to just make the best of it.  I’ve set up camp on the couch and I am having a blast working on the website.  I have so much material that I never got around to posting because I either forgot about some of it, or I went onto the next project before I could post the last ones, that kind of thing.  Oh, the creative juices are flowing and I’m loving that part of it.  I’m also enjoying all the t.v. series that I have on DVD and Bluray that I’ve been catching up on.  Seeing as how I am laid up I am going to make the best of it.

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At 56 our bodies don’t bounce back as quickly as they do in our teens, 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s.  But I do believe that the reason I didn’t break a bone was because of the amount of alcohol that I consume. 


The benefits of alcohol are starting to catch up here in America in the medical field.  In countries around the world drinking everyday is a natural part of their lives and very excepted.  The French drink an average of 3-5 glasses of wine a day.  Italian’s drink wine most everyday with all those delicious Italian foods they create, with the cooks having their small doses in the kitchen’s.  The German’s drink their steins of beer most days while the Irish have their Guinness in their pubs daily.  But if you drink everyday here in America?  You are an alcoholic.  Well, looks like I fit the description because I have two glasses of wine most every evening.  But, instead of being referred to as an alcoholic, I prefer the more appropriate term of, Wino.

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(Although Gordon and I do have about 8 -10 mixed drinks per year, most of the time we are drinking red wine.  Although Gordon does drink beer most every weekend while he grills.)

Crutches and Julie_smallcrutches julie_small

The Benefits of Red Wine

Do NOT even waste your time drinking white wine as it has no benefits whatsoever except that it is alcohol.  (I’ll get to that in a minute.)  It is fine to cook with though.  White wine does make some excellent gravy’s.

We are also occasionally given the gift of wine that we will drink with dinner whether white or rose’, just because it was a gift and we will reciprocate in kind.

Red Wine actually has a benefit in the fact that it helps you to lose weight.  Yes, I said, LOSE WEIGHT!

Red Wine is loaded with anti-oxidents.  One of the healthiest beverages you can drink.

Now for the most important benefit of drinking alcohol on a regular basis.  Senior’s who drink around 8 glasses of alcohol a week are less likely to break a bone when they fall.  And if you note, when a senior falls and breaks a bone, their health will deteriorate from that point on.

I did learn something important about myself because of this fall, I don’t have brittle bones.  That is good news to hear when I just turned 56. 

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So, Happy Birthday to Me!

I may be a bit laid up but I am going to focus on the benefits of taking a few weeks off, and not the liabilities.

julie cake option 3_small my cake_small

I am very proud of my birthday cake.  It was my idea to relive my childhood favorite dessert.  My mother would buy these occasionally and I adored them!  Cream horns!  This wasn’t about my eating something that can kill me, (borderline diabetic), it was about reliving a few happy childhood memories and reminiscing.  (I did eat one.)

It was even my idea to add some roses to the center.

  Sometimes to me food is just a decoration.  Especially sweets like this.

My cake will sit out for me to enjoy until I eventually throw it away, but it won’t get eaten.

So drink up American’s!  It just might save our lives!



happy pre birthday to me_small

I’ve made my birthday wish and I promise you it will come true!

(Oh, and my birthday ice cream bowl is my favorite childhood breakfast cereal, Captain Crunch’s Peanut Butter Cereal.  Gordon made the bowls by using melted butter/marshmallows/caramels.  Having them harden into our ceramic bowls, then adding the ice cream, sugar free vanilla.  It was perfect!)


February 3, 2017

Sprained Knee

heating pad wrapped around my knee_small with my keyboard_small

Focusing on the Positive When There is Negative

(See my missing key on my keyboard, above?)

All Laid Up

Photos of me above, with my heating pad tied around my sprained knee, propped up on a pillow on my great-grandmother’s rocking chair with my keyboard on my lap while I get some work done.


On the evening of January 31, 2017 I was attempting to step over the dog gate with a tall glass of water, (Not referring to Gordon, but an actual tall glass of water), when my flip flop got stuck between the bars and I then went right over the tall gate throwing my water ahead of me so as to brace myself when I landed, only to land on the side of my right knee and my wrist, thus landing in a big pool of the water I had thrown ahead of myself. 

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The Evil Gate That Tried To Kill Me

(Sugar did run over to see how I was doing and stayed at the gate watching me until she saw that I was o.k. about 10  minutes later.  Monk however, didn’t even budge from his favorite spot in the dog bed.  Sugar is now my favorite pug.)


The Dog Gate

Even though the dog gate will swing open as to let you walk through it, Gordon and I have always just stepped over it.  It is a tall gate, but we are tall people.  Which suddenly brings to my mind the old saying, “The bigger they are the harder they fall.”  I can attest to the validity of that statement. 

I can’t tell you how many years we have hurdled that gate while holding a 25 pound Thanksgiving turkey on a platter, and we do it with such ease.  At times we have been Olympic hurdlers as we leap over that gate with such grace and speed.  We’ve had people in our home that are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s that have trouble stepping over it.  Gordon and I believe that that gate is what is keeping us young.  So you can imagine how I feel that something I do quite easily 100 times a day suddenly hurt me, and very badly too.

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Julie’s Lair

LAIR ESSENTIALS:  Lap top, keyboard, books, my grandmother’s quilt, comfy pillows, comfy blankets, books, wrap around heating pad for knee, large heating pad just for the hell of it, books, magazines, crutches (from Gordon’s past knee surgery), cane (old Halloween prop), Lots of DVD’s/Blurays, tissues, cameras, remote controls, books, pretzels, Diet whatever, ice pack for knee, books, reading glasses, backup reading glasses, and books.

beautiful old books_small Elizabeth C Reed 1944_small

Gordon and I hit our favorite thrift stores last month and I found some amazing things.  This Raphael book alone is so beautiful.  $4.00, and a signature, Elizabeth C. Reed, 1944.  That is gold to me!

thrift store books_small Raphael_small

These are so much nicer than prints!  I could frame so many of these.

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This big thick pink book is filled with facts about old Hollywood.  I knew that Trish would have loved this book.  And I would have gladly sacrificed it so that she could have it.  As much as I love it. 


I am not a naturally positive person, I am more of a negative person.  I think that people that are positive have had more positive experiences throughout their lives.  I have had more negative experiences throughout mine, hence my confession to you.

BUT, although I am not a ‘glass half full’ , or a ‘let’s look on the bright side’,

I am a “I’ll just make the best of it.”


On Tuesday night when I fell and landed in that big pool of water, I was so upset at being in that big pool of water that I crawled several feet to get out of it and then I collapsed.  Gordon saw me from across the room as I was falling over the gate and ran over to help me.  He and I both knew that I hadn’t broken any bones because I was crawling, so that was good news.  But I was in excruciating pain with my knee swelling up to twice it’s size.  I was mad at myself for the spill I just took.  I was also worried.  I knew that I hadn’t broken anything but that doesn’t mean that I may not have some sort of permanent damage.  As in going through life with a bad knee.  We do a lot of walking here in Florida, not to mention I love my treadmill, so the thought of having some permanent damage is worrisome. 

That first night when I went to bed I was in so much pain that I didn’t get very much sleep.  I also couldn’t find a comfortable position to lay on as I prefer to sleep on my side, usually flopping around all night long.

FYI:  If you sleep on your back you won’t get any wrinkles.  Did you know that?

The next day when I woke up I couldn’t even walk.  I could put no pressure on my right leg as it was just too painful.  So I did a lot of hopping and grabbing onto all the furniture as I would make my way around the house.  Even hopping was quite painful.  Gordon did what he could for me before he left for work but I was on my own for the day.  The dogs depended on me to take them out, feed them, I also needed to feed myself, bathe, etc.  It took me about 1 1/2 hours just to bathe myself in the shower as I couldn’t stand on both legs.  It was painful just stepping into the shower to begin with. 

Gordon got the crutches out of the attic for me before he went into work.  I also got the cane that I keep near the door and started using that.  (The cane is something of a weapon, that’s why I keep it out.)  Both the crutches and the cane were very painful to walk on but I just took my time and made my way around all by myself.  I just kept encouraging myself.  Telling myself aloud, “Julie, you can do it.  I know you can.  Come on.  Keep going.” 

It was a huge relief when Gordon got home so that he could take care of the whining dogs and feed them their dinner.  I know that it killed me to take them outside in the backyard earlier that day, as much pain as I was in. 


Why Didn’t I Go To The Doctor?

When you grow up in a medical family, my step-father was a surgeon and my mother was a medical technologist, you learn a thing to two, also I think any doctor’s children will tell you that they are ignored when they are sick.  Think about it?  If you were to clean houses for a living, the last thing you would want to do when you got home was to clean your own house.  If you are a doctor careing for people all day, the last thing you want to come home to is sick children.  So as a whole most of us doctor’s kids are ignored. 

I can remember when I was in the 5th. grade when we were living in Roanoke, VA. that I had broken the middle finger of my left hand at school recess.   I can remember coming home and telling my mother about it.  She just glanced at it and didn’t say anything.  So when my step-father came home I showed him my finger and told him that I had broken it.  He just glanced at it as well, said nothing, and left the room.  I knew it was up to me to fix it so I gathered up two popsicle sticks from the kitchen and some tape out of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and rigged myself up a splint. 

The next morning at the breakfast table my mother noticed my splint and asked me what it was?  I told her that I had broken my finger and that I was going to fix it.  She just made some grimace with her face and told me that it looked silly.  She wanted me to take it off but I wouldn’t.  I then went to school.  The kids noticed it and laughed at me and made fun of my splint.  I told them that I had broken it and that the splint was to fix it.  My teacher overheard the conversation and looked at my splint and asked, “Isn’t your father a doctor?”  I knew why she asked that.  So I just said, “Yes.”

When I got home from school that day my mother insisted that I take that thing off my finger.  So I took it off and that’s when she noticed that it was broken.  So when my step-father got home she had him to take a look at it.  He then realized that it was broken so they took me into the hospital and he placed a real splint on it and taped it up.  I didn’t like how he taped it, he left part of my finger showing, the broken part, I knew that wasn’t right but I was just glad that I was getting real medical attention.  I can’t remember how long I kept that splint on but when it was finally removed my finger was crooked with a big bump where the skin was exposed when he taped it up.  I knew even then that he wrapped it up wrong.  I think that I complained about the bump, but he said nothing. 


So to answer the question as to why I didn’t go and see a doctor?  Because I knew that my knee wasn’t broken.  I knew that going to the emergency room would just be me and Gordon sitting there for hours until an ER doctor could look at me.  Then he/she would order an X-ray, determine that it wasn’t broken, then give me some pain killer with codeine in it and then send me home with instructions on following up with my family practitioner. 

So I just sucked up the pain and dealt with it myself. 


I am a lot tougher than I look.  I didn’t grow up being coddled, or given pain pills when I was ill or injured.  I had to just deal with it myself.  What a lot of people can’t tolerate I just push out of my mind and ignore.  And although I was in a lot of pain, I don’t let it overtake me.  It’s there, I notice it, but my mind just focuses on other things.


Making the Best of It

THIS is what I do best!  Seeing as how I am laid up, why not make the best of it?  How many of us would love a day, or two, or three, to just lay around and do whatever we want to? 

Read, Watch T.V., Watch DVD’s/Blurays, Take an Afternoon Nap, Craft Projects, Flipping Through Photo Albums, Snuggling with your Pets on the couch, or Working on my Website……



Sanctuary 2_small

I love this series.  It’s a Canadian series starring mostly Canadian actors.  I saw it on the Sci-Fi Channel years ago and loved it and knew that I wanted to own the seasons.  So I ordered all 4 of them.

Being laid up has allowed me to actually sit here on the couch and watch the episodes and just enjoy them.

I seem to be drawn to these goodwill/moralistic shows now.  I just need to see good people helping others and actually winning.  I’m tired of witnessing all this hatred here in our country and I just need to escape into a t.v. fantasy where good always wins. 

I’m also watching a hell of a lot of Star Trek The Next Generation on BBC America.


I do understand that I am luckier than most.  I don’t have a job that I need to get to in order to pay the rent and not get kicked out of my home.  My job is in managing my mother’s beach condo and I just checked in our long term winter renters mid-January, and I don’t have to get out there to do anything until they vacate the place in April.  Unless there is an emergency or something, I don’t need to worry about anything. 

I’m also lucky that my fall has happened at this time of year.  This is our winter here in Florida.  Granted, it is a pretty mild one, but we tend to stay put and just work on things around the house until March when we start on bigger outside projects.  So I couldn’t have picked a better time to get hurt.

I’m also very lucky that I have the husband that I have.  Granted, he wasn’t always a great husband and I wasn’t always a great wife, it’s been a learning experience from day one.  I don’t think we will ever stop learning, either.   But he doesn’t mind cooking, washing dishes, taking care of the dogs, and taking care of me. 

So, it’s like I said, “I just make the best of it.”

I count my blessings, I see them, I notice them, I acknowledge them.  And I don’t ever take them for granted because I know they will be gone someday and I will miss them terribly.  But until that time comes I will enjoy them all that I can.

Everything in life is temporary.  Enjoy it all while you have it because it will be gone, or changed, or different, but it will never be the same.


February 2, 2017 Day Two of Sprained Knee

I noticed during the night that I could move my leg in other positions that I couldn’t the day before, so I knew that when I got up this morning that things would already be better for me.  I was just so surprised how much better my leg was.  Granted, it was still so very swollen and it did hurt to walk around on it, but I no longer needed crutches or a cane.  I was really amazed at how quickly I was healing. 

I hadn’t even mentioned my wrist to you, I was so focused on my knee, but I also had a slight sprain in my wrist as I did land on it as well. 

Nonetheless, I set up camp on the sofa and had the best time watching season after season of Sanctuary, while working on my website.  As much as I was improved, I knew that the next day would be even better. 


February 3, 2017, Day Three of Sprained Knee (Today)

I cannot even begin to tell you how much better I am today than I was yesterday.  I can walk, but with a limp. I am still in pain but not as badly as before.  I do still have swelling in my knee but it has gone down a little bit. 

My wrist has absolutely no pain whatsoever.  How does a sprained wrist heal itself in just 3 days? 

I am still keeping my leg propped up on the rocking chair with a heating pad tied around my knee.  I’ve started doing a few household chores today, such as laundry.  Gordon is on his way home and bringing dinner for the two of us.  This weekend he is doing some cooking, especially for Super Bowl Sunday while I take it easy and just heal.  At this rate I’m not so worried about my knee anymore.

You know when Gordon was in high school playing football he sprained his knee.  He was on crutches for one week unable to walk on his leg.  He was at his most fittest.  I am going to be 56 and I was walking on my sprained knee after one day on crutches.  Gordon has also had two knee surgeries so he understands knee pain very well and is just amazed by my progress.  So am I, quite frankly.

But I won’t be complaining about it.  I will however, be writing about it on my empath blog. 

Take care everyone!



 January 31, 2017

Shortly after I wrote the post below my friend Trish died.  Cancer had ravaged her little body.  Gordon and I are so sad as she was a part of our family.  As I look around our house she is everywhere.  I picked up a notepad to write some reminders down and it was a notepad that she had sent me.  I opened our DVD cabinet looking for something to watch and I immediately spotted some DVD’s that Trish and Bob had sent us.  I was rummaging through my jewelry looking for something to wear when I saw the pretty necklace that she had sent me years ago.  I put it on.  I also put the earrings on that she had sent me in the past. 

I hate that when someone dies people always seem to say, “I loved her/him.”  Kind of like because they are deceased that those feelings are in the past.  Not so with me.  I love Trish!  She may be gone but my feelings are still there.  No past tense.  She was my friend and I will miss her forever. 

She knew she was dying of cancer but yet she fulfilled my Christmas wish to have a book signed by Annabel Langbein of New Zealand. 

Annabells book_small Annabell signed it for me_small

Trish was dying yet she stood in line to have Annabel sign this for me.

“Dear Julie, Happy Cooking.”

That is a friend.  Someone that puts you ahead of themselves and their health to stand in a long line to get you an autograph.

I will never have as good a friend as her. 

I miss you Trish,



January 29, 2017

My Friend is Dying

I am very sad to write this blog post but I want to.  Writing things down makes me feel better and I need to feel better right now.  If you are a regular reader of my blog then you may know of my friend Trish, above left.  She lives in New Zealand with her husband, Bob.  Those are their children pictured with them, Leilani and Carl.  I’ve known Trish since about 1997.  We were living in Hawaii at the time and Gordon and I were Girl Scout leaders.  Trish was a Girl Guide leader in N.Z. and had requested a pen pal troop in Hawaii that might want to pair up with her girls.  I saw that request and I immediately acted upon it.  I was excited for my girl’s to be corresponding with some other girl’s in another country.  We could share ideas, get to know each other.  I even had fantasies that my girl’s would make life long friendships with their new pen pals, but those relationship’s fizzled out.  But my friendship with Trish didn’t!  We became friends and started writing to each other, calling each other.  She and Bob even came to visit us here in America twice. 

When I started writing this I immediately tried to find a photo of Trish and I together, but then I remembered that Paul Gray had deleted all of them from our old computer.  He has been my cyber-stalker for the past 2 decades although we believe it actually goes back to our very first computer.  I also write about him in my:

What It’s Like to be Cyber-Stalked

But to explain a little.  Paul works for a major software company and had two computer’s built to his specific’s.  One he gave to us, the other he kept for himself.  He could enter our computer anytime that he wanted to, and he did!  Reading my email, looking at every single thing we had on that computer.  Photos, documents, etc.  We had downloaded all of our photos onto that computer.  Every photo that we had of Trish and Bob and their visits to us.  Our entire life in Maryland.  All the sight seeing, all that Washington, D.C. history,and the family fun, Veronica even placed in her science fair…..  And thanks to the sheer meanness of Paul Keith Gray, he deleted every single one of them.  Oh, I still have those memories, but it would be nice if I could look back at those photos, especially now. 

Trish may have been 20 years older than me but friendship has no age limits.  I had more in common with her than I ever did with people my own age.  Because I am an old soul.  My mind is 100 while my body will be 56 next month. 

Trish and I also had similar relationships with our mother’s.  When Trish was born her mother didn’t want her.  She took her down to the orphanage and left her there.  When Trish’s father heard what she did he went down there and got Trish and brought her back to her mother and forced her to raise her.  Her parents went on to have many more kids but her mother never really liked Patricia.  There are no photos of Trish when she was young because her mother didn’t take any.  The thing that Trish and I know growing up as we did is that it does affect you throughout your entire life.

We had that trauma in common. 

Trish was my only true friend.  I know what you may be thinking, ‘won’t my other friends be offended by that?’  We’ll, I don’t really have any other friends.  Most of my friends dumped me during the Bush years because I dared to speak out.  I was one of the first protestors of the Iraq War.  That’s when I realized just how many republican friends that I had.  They called me names like, “unpatriotic, un-American, they made me feel so sad.  When Bush’s approval rating was at 94% after 9/11 I am proud to say that I was one of those 6% that knew better.  I just couldn’t believe how close minded everyone was.  Looking at the alternate reality of these Trump supporters now is a good example of the mindset of my former friends. 

As sad as I was at being dumped by them, I came to realize that they really weren’t even worth knowing.  I was much better off without them. 

Trish was a more informed person, she knew what I knew.  I leaned on her shoulder and she got me through some very unhappy years. 

It breaks my heart that her little body is being eaten alive by cancer and that she is down to just skin and bones.  She is unresponsive and in hospice.  Her husband of almost 50 years is with her 12 hours a day.  Sitting with her, holding her hand, reading to her.  Bob called yesterday to tell us how she is doing and it’s just heartbreaking.

I know that when we grieve, we grieve for ourselves.  What their loss will do to us.  I feel like I’m being selfish wanting her around longer so that I will have someone special in my life.  But the thing is, I don’t want a replacement, I want her!

After we initially got to know each other I asked her how many Girl Scout troops from Hawaii responded to her request to become a pen pal troop?  She said, “None.  I was the only one.”

I’m going to miss you Trish.



January 19, 2017