The estrogen tour

After our trip to Toledo last week, I’ve been feeling lonely for my girlfriends…the ones I left behind in February of 2014.  For the most part, I didn’t socialize much with them the last 5 years I Was in Iowa because of my state of mind.  I miss them!

There is a connection with girls that men cannot fill…and there is a history and trust and affection with MY girls.  It is a loneliness that I can’t really put into words.  It’s like missing your favorite sweatshirt on a cold rainy day.  Everything is really fine but you just keep remembering how warm you felt in your old sweatshirt.

So…my first estrogen tour is next week.  I’m doing 3 nights away from home, away from him….and when I return I will be warm after wearing my old sweatshirt for a few days.

Until next time….


In September of 2007, I started a blog on Xanga and used the moniker, Ninasusan.  My old friend Jeff aka Ground Hog (ghog) brought me to the table.  I had no idea how that decision would change my life.  Somehow in the huge blogesphere a blog written by a woman named Tracy caught my attention.  At that time, she blogged on a regular basis about her daily life.  I connected with her…and the rest is a love story of friendship.

He and I spent the weekend with Tracy and her husband, Corey and her sister, Erin (who I also met through Tracy on Xanga).  We joke that we are sisters from a different mister AND mother.  It is the only way to express the affection, respect and joy we soak in from our mostly internet relationship.  Here we are:


and here is Toledo



Tracy’s beloved Frankie


My very favorite room in Tracy’s house


and Tracy and Erin several years ago during a meet-up in Chicago.  One of them is going to kill me for posting this.


…and the story of Holy Toledo goes like this.  Back many decades ago, apparently Toledo had (and still has) an inordinate amount of churches per capita…thus Holy Toledo.  Thankfully progress has not bulldozed the beauty of many of these old churches.  Minus the ridiculous road construction which makes it difficult to even get to Toledo, we found it a nice, comfortable city – kind of like Des Moines…reasonably quiet, midwest feel with the opportunities of adventure a car ride away.

Much love to my Toledo girls!

Until next time….

The Remote

We don’t have a landline.  It is kind of strange.  When my girls were young, I would never had gone without a landline…even when we moved into the cell phone age…I always wanted that assurance that they could find us where ever we were.  Before we left Iowa, I basically paid the ridiculous fee for having a home phone so the telemarketers could reach me. *curse

This is basically what my phone looked like.

But this isn’t a phone.  The is the Direct TV remote.  Because my remote looks like my old phone, I’m irritated beyond belief.  Don’t try to read ahead and assume I think this thing is a phone and try to answer it.  I’m not there yet.  NO… I waste countless minutes of the day looking for the TV remote that is right in front of me because I think it is the phone!  Observe…this is what all of my other remotes look like and quite frankly, this is what a remote is supposed to look like!

So there you have it!  Just a glimpse of how complicated my life is.

Until next time!


After two seasons of watching Royals baseball, I feel like I’ve come home to baseball.  I grew up loving baseball and the *whisper….National League Cincinnatti Reds.  I wish I could watch a game with my dad one more time…he taught me well and I soaked in the passion from him.

Baseball fans, like other sports fans, love their respective teams….the reason you adopt one team is personal…perhaps your alma mater or the region/city you live in.  baseball fans fall in love with the players.  It just happens after spending night after night with them…seeing them lose, seeing them win, seeing them play their game or watching the joy of a win. The interviews…oh the interviews…seeing their personalities come out!

I sat on the bed in a hotel room last night and watched the Kansas City Royals suck the life out of the Toronto Blue Jays.  I grinned like an idiot watching the after celebration on the field.

He has become a baseball fan after watching the Royals play.  He may be even more dedicated to them than me.  He watched the joy and the pain all season even when I had to leave the room.  I love his passion for the game.  I wish my dad could be here with us….I think he would be able to root an American League team ❤️

Until next time….

Living in the moment

I’m confident that the more I’m able to process the quietness of my soul, the easier it will be for me to shut it down and appreciate the individual moments.  Each time I realize I have too many thoughts deflecting peace of mind, the quicker I seem to be able to shut it down!  It happened this afternoon driving Detroit to Toledo.  I found myself peaking at natures beauty of the fall tree colors but was interrupted thinking about the weekend…planning..thinking about the return trip on Sunday and then I was able to stop!

No way could my camera pick up the beauty but my soul soaked it in.

We had dinner at a sweet little local Italian restaurant tonight with Corey, Tracy and Erin…missing our girl, Mary Beth!  It is going to be a wonderful weekend full of conversation and love!  I have chosen beautiful friends.

Until next time…..

The simple Mind…

Watching Jax sit on Papa’s lap this morning watching SquareBob Stretch pants…or whatever it is called…I realized that my husband of 36 years is simple.  I’ve known for many, many years that there is something genuine, calm but with a short fuze but peaceful in his soul.  I used to envy his ability to sit during a house-is-a-mess-things-need-to-be-done hurricane and turn it all off and read a book.  I asked him many times how do you shut things off and not jump from the high dive into the deep end…he always said…I just don’t think about it.  Actually this used to piss me off beyond belief but I also wanted it – I wanted the peaceful soul.  I still do.

I think it has to do with upbringing – there were no pressures on him as a child other than to be a child.  While I don’t think he necessarily learned what I consider adult responsibilities as a child, he learned peace.  Unfortunately in our early days together, I had a whip trying to beat our life into a frenzy of perfection of my goals and he wanted me to relax.

I’m getting there.  I am giving myself permission to relax and do what I want to do now…and he has evolved into the perfect husband.

I was overwhelmed with love and thankfulness yesterday when he installed a new water heater…I priced installation through Home Depot – it was outrageous – he said, I can do it.  He can do it…he has that kind of mind and ability – when the job needs to be done, he figures out how to do it.  With the exception of plumbing…if you are reading this, dear.  I don’t want you to do plumbing.  My stress level can’t deal with it.

My husband is gentle and loving and has no idea how great he is and how much we all depend on him.  It is most evident when love oozes from him with Jaxon.  I’m still learning from him.

Until next time….

Four Months

As I was poking around my scar this morning, I realized that today is the 4 month mark post nephrectomy.  Palpating the skin around my scar has become a weird obsession for me.  Since he mentioned this little ritual to my gorgeous urologist a couple of months ago, I mostly do it in private.  The sensation of being totally numb on the medial side of the scar is similar to having your mouth numbed with novocaine…I was told that eventually most of the feeling will come back once the nerves connect again.  No pictures this time but I have continued to use frankincense only on the upper 1/2 of the scar as my own little experiment to see if it really works.. It works so I’m also putting it on the lower half of the scar.  My own little experiments like when I was around 12, I used two different deodorants in my armpits…and so I would know which was which, I marked an S for Secret and the first letter of the other one.  S apparently worked the best because that is what I regularly use…but the point is, it so happened I had a doctor appointment – he asked me what my letters meant and when I told him in my 12 year old shyness – he laughed.  I get it now but at the time I was crushed with embarrassment!

My other experiment has been with essential oils by do terra along with their vitamin regime and turmeric.  I have taken one tylenol in the last 4 months for arthritis pain/headache.  I was very, very skeptical of the vitamin program but I am totally convinced it works for the betterment of my health.  I have no pain!  It is amazing.  I use the essential oils other than frankincense as needed.  Peppermint essential oil should be on every one’s list of must haves.  Temple, forehead and sometimes under the nose for almost instant decongesting of the sinuses.  I found oregano and black pepper also good for muscle and skeletal pain…perhaps not a plus for cuddling.  The other night, we were watching TV by candlelight.  He mentioned that all he could think about was pizza.  uh huh!

Every single day I’m thankful for diverticulitis…otherwise there would still be cancer growing in my kidney and I could be on the paved road downhill to the end.

Until next time….

Strangulation by tie

Chuck Todd now hosts a Meet the Press daily show on MSNBC (MTP Daily). I really like Chuck Todd because he is not afraid to ask the difficult questions to the politicians….and during this chapter of my life, I find myself buried in the political BS.  I tend to lean toward the left in my opinions but I try to listen with an open mind to the rhetoric from the conservative side…and I still lean to the left.  Keeping my head about me makes me feel like a grown up.

Today while watching the talking heads – all men – I found myself totally focused on the suit and tie outfits….or uniforms, if you will.  I became so focused on looking at suit coats, shirts and ties that I was losing focus on what the guest politicians were yammering about.  Who was sitting around one day and thought…you know what would look good…wearing a starched shirt fastened tightly around the throat with a button to enhance Jowels then let’s wrap a piece of cloth around the neck with a knot at the Adam’s apple.  I don’t dislike the look….sometimes I just wish the cloth wrapped around the neck was a lot tighter.  The look was probably fashioned by the same person that decided to put 4 inch spikes on the bottom heel of women’s shoes….

In case you aren’t familiar with the details of politics in this country….let me sum it up for you!  We are screwed!

Until next time….

I’m leaving the IPAD on the nightstand today…

..or at least for an hour…we’ll try an hour…I’m realizing I may have an addiction which is causing me to be unproductive.  It’s not really the social media aspect – which I’m actually finding to be monotonous (looks like too many O’s).  But it is my curiosity and my IBOOK and Kindle habit which has me weighted down..not just my curiosity but my inability to speak in complete sentences because I can’t remember words.  What’s that word?  Google it!

I used to read books all of the was the only way to put myself to sleep at night.  I found that when my anxiety level increased, the banging in my head got to be so loud that I couldn’t concentrate on a book.  I tried and tried and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.  I love to read.  I blamed it on my tried and true favorite authors were writing junk…I discussed it with family members and was given ideas for great authors.  Those authors couldn’t write either.  With great joy, I’m here to tell you it was me and not them.  But now that I”m has created another problem.  I can’t quit reading.  I put reading in front of every other chore and/or responsibility.  I’m totally content.  But apparently it has become a problem because I don’t do anything else.  He already cooks but if he would bring me my meals in bed and keep my coffee filled, I would be content to remain in bed all day surrounded by my cats!

So…today is Monday – normally I start a diet…but this Monday, I’m going to leave my IPAD in the bedroom and see what I’ve been missing.  At least for an hour.  I can do it for an hour!

Until next time….

I drank coffee through a paper towel

Not so many years ago, I woke up crabby every morning.  Okay…let me start again because I still do.

Not so many years ago, when the first thing went wrong in my day…wrong meaning not in line with my planned schedule of how I should feel or what I should do or what happens to me, I would have a more pessimistic attitude that – well that just figures…that is my life.  Encased in anxiety, hatred, self doubt and no particular self esteem I could grab ahold of…I went from minute to minute wondering what other crap I was going to have to endure before I could go to bed at night and wake up and start the sad, sad next day again.  I was always contemplating tomorrow…because tomorrow would always be better than today..and then of course I was disappointed yet again.    My hair cut didn’t make me more attractive, I failed at the plan to diet with my first slice of toast or 2 bowls of sugar cereal or cake from the night before.  Each day was a disappointment and if there was real joy…I knew I should feel it…but couldn’t.

I used to provide all kinds of lip service to anyone who would listen about how we have to live in the moment.  Now is now.  yesterday is yesterday and we have no idea what will happen tomorrow.  I believed it…but I didn’t live it.  Then as we prepared for my retirement, I knew in order to save myself..I had to make a clean break and start all over.  It was very scary, it is something I had never done before – just thinking of myself, it was emotional, it was labor intensive, did I mention it was exhilarating.  It was really May 6th 2013 when we bought a house in Missouri – and the next day my daughter gave birth to Jaxon that I started to live and I knew that I just needed to make it through another few months and then I would start to really live…I would be retired.

It’s true.  It happened.  It’s not for everyone.  But I had to put the past and the ghosts behind me and start afresh.

I changed my perspective…I live in the moment.  The kidney cancer diagnosis was a huge reminder that we have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.  I’m still growing.  My daughter helps me fine tune what actually living in the moment is all about.  A cool breeze blowing over me can bring peace and help me relax.  I have choices now…I don’t live by other people’s rules and standards.  I have finally found peace…I feel that way but I don’t think I have truly found complete inner peace.  It is a process.  I know than when I truly find complete inner peace, it will be time to die.  Because my sole personal accomplishment will be met.  It’s a process.

oh…and about the paper towel in the coffee.  When I rinsed out my coffee vessel the other night, I stuck a paper towel inside, put the lid back on and turned it upside down to alert me that there was a paper towel wadded up inside.  Yesterday morning, I took the lid off and made my dark french roast Kuerig cup of coffee…it was deslish.  I was shocked last night when I rinsed out my coffee cup and out dropped a brown, coffee soaked paper towel…that’s all.  Just reminded me that insignificant things happen every day…things that might irritate us…the first thing in the morning that goes wrong does not have anything to do with what is going to happen for the rest of the day….thats what I have learned by striving to live in the moment.

Until next time….